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Album Review

Inocenti is dedicated to all the innocent people on our planet who are discriminated against because of their color, race, gender or ideology. Paulo Flores says that people must unite and protest. He is as good at expressing straightforward social commentary as he is at making fresh dance music. As on his previous album, he has written the music and lyrics on all tracks. His mix of Semba and Afro-Zouk is done with great skill and sensitivity. "Mukanda," alone worth the price of a ticket, is a Semba loaded cut with top percussion. The vocals are like a cohesive brass section showcasing the group's thrust. Within the percussive engine, he tells a story of a people torn apart by over 30 years of war and strife. Some of the best music seems to be made by the most beleaguered peoples. African music doesn't get much better than this. "Deixe Estar" is another outstanding track that speaks of love and parting, but with a rhythmic intensity that lingers in the ear long after. "Africa Terra Querida" ("Africa Land I Love") is the final track, a percussive loping rhythm punctuated by tasteful sax solos. It evokes the ambiance of the homeland from the opening sounds of the wildlife and also the reality of disunity that plagues Angola to this day. This disc was another massive hit in his native Angola, in Lisbon, where many people from the former Portuguese African colonies live, and in the Lusafrican communities on the East Coast of the U.S. Paulo Flores is a consistent master of Semba and other forms of Afro-Zouk and Afro-Latino music. An extraordinary album that never will grow stale. Paulo Flores is an artist to watch, listen to and most of all to dance to.

Inocenti, Paulo Flores
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