12 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

What do you get when you put a Trinidadian/Canadian singer/songwriter in front of a band including Guyanese, Slovenian, and Jamaican players in a Belize studio? If you're lucky, you get Kobo Town's second album, on which bandleader Drew Gonsalves explores new routes for the sounds of his homeland. To call this madly careening stylistic journey "calypso" would be an oversimplification; while calypso's rolling rhythms, rich storytelling, and buoyant melodies are the kindling that feeds Kobo Town's fire, they're filtered through the lenses of everything from dancehall reggae to zouk and hip-hop. Although a life spent bouncing back and forth between Canada and Trinidad gave Gonsalves a unique slant on Caribbean sounds, he's also a dedicated wordsmith who claims the influence of St. Lucian poet Derek Walcott just as quickly as that of calypso king Lord Kitchener. The complex narratives he weaves on tunes like "The Trial of Henry Marshall" and "The War Between Is and Ought" are as lyrically dazzlingly as they are rhythmically irresistible.

EDITORS’ NOTES

What do you get when you put a Trinidadian/Canadian singer/songwriter in front of a band including Guyanese, Slovenian, and Jamaican players in a Belize studio? If you're lucky, you get Kobo Town's second album, on which bandleader Drew Gonsalves explores new routes for the sounds of his homeland. To call this madly careening stylistic journey "calypso" would be an oversimplification; while calypso's rolling rhythms, rich storytelling, and buoyant melodies are the kindling that feeds Kobo Town's fire, they're filtered through the lenses of everything from dancehall reggae to zouk and hip-hop. Although a life spent bouncing back and forth between Canada and Trinidad gave Gonsalves a unique slant on Caribbean sounds, he's also a dedicated wordsmith who claims the influence of St. Lucian poet Derek Walcott just as quickly as that of calypso king Lord Kitchener. The complex narratives he weaves on tunes like "The Trial of Henry Marshall" and "The War Between Is and Ought" are as lyrically dazzlingly as they are rhythmically irresistible.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
7 Ratings
7 Ratings
Joanne Gail ,

50+ years of independence

Kobo Town brings back the calypso news casters of the colonial era and marries the ole time kaiso sound with the contemporary sensibilities we've tried on for 50+ years of Independence to bring this true Trini, uniquely universal sound to the world. Amen. Ting Done.

Carib868 ,

Calypso's future is BRIGHT

Calypso will live on because of Kobo Town. They keep the traditions of Trinidad & Tobago while imbuing aspects of other Caribbean music flavors like ska into their sound. A new bacchanal 'ting for the millennium - outstanding!

SweetJudyBluEyes ,

Sounds like summer

I just heard a review of the album on my NPR station, wrote down the name of the album on a napkin while driving, and went home to look them up! This is not the type of music I normally listen to but the lyrics are so varied, clever to poetic, and the music is well - just outstanding.

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