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Nü Revolution

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Album Review

For those attracted to Les Nubians' brand of Afropean soul, Nü Revolution will represent a welcome return after 2003's spotty One Step Forward, and 2008's various-artists spoken word album Les Nubians Presents Echoes, Chapter One. Their seamless meld of African percussion wed to European lyricism, bilingual vocals (French and English), and modern production techniques is underscored by nu-soul , hip-hop, and lithe African funk grooves. French-Cameroonian sisters Hélène and Célia Faussart's fourth album since 1999 is a typically upbeat affair, but it is adventurous; beginning with the hypnotic "Nü Queens Intro," an instrumental of African percussion. Both advance singles, the slippery funky "Afrodance," and the J. Period remix of "Yveuillez Veiller Sur Vos Reves" — which also features John Banzaï — are included on this bubbling 14-song set. The legendary African saxophonist, vibraphonist, and vocalist Manu Dibango appears on the finger-popping "Nü Soul Makossa." Sung entirely in French, the criss-crossing polyrhythms meet the funk backbeat head on, and the sisters move between singing and rapping, with Dibango's voice adding accents as well as a brief but gritty sax solo. The shimmering club soul of "Les Urbans" includes a rap by Blitz the Ambassador near the tune's end. While the title track seems overly long at six minutes, it does include some nice mbira, keyboard, and guitar work. The nocturnal Afropean trip-hop of "Femme Polyandre" is a welcome surprise; and in a much slicker way nods to Erykah Badu's latter day projects. "Deja Vous," a dance track with skittering contrapuntal synthetic loops and vocal interplay between the sisters and Eric Roberson, is a serious candidate for a third single. "Mbengue (A Letter From...)" contains some fine a cappella vocals as well as a seamless meld of nu-soul and hip-hop. Album-closer "Africa for the Future" is a real stepper with the sisters backed by South African supergroup Freshlyground, who offer excellent Township jive guitar lines, and a taut, beautifully arranged horn chart. Nü Revolution is easily the slickest album in Les Nubians catalog; it may also be the most musically accomplished.

Customer Reviews

Les Nubians has done it again!

While the Afropean Soul sisters stray from their roots on several songs -- ironically, the ones they hope to use as cross-over vehicles to reach a wider, hip-hop audience -- they are at their very best on most of the tracks. And their harmonies remain the gold standard of vocal sensuality. I was swooning, once again, by the second track, "Liberte." For Les Nubians fans, the long wait for their "nü" album has been well worth it!

Awesome!

Saw them in Chicago a long time ago and have been waiting for their new album ever since. So excited to see them in concert again next month, this time in San Diego - Les Nubians vous etes simplement superbes et envoutantes !

They Did It Again

Have been waiting for this one for the longest time...and wow is it worth every second I waited. Simply brilliant afro pop soul done in as unique a way as I've ever heard. beautiful vocals and melodies combined with top notch crisp production. A must have for any Les Nubians fan...or even if not yet a fan. You will be!

Biography

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

An unconventional female duo that came out of Bordeaux, France, in the 1990s, Les Nubians offered a jazzy, sophisticated style of R&B that combined French lyrics with the influence of Sade, Soul II Soul, hip-hop, and African pop. The duo consists of sisters Helene and Celia Faussart, who were born in France to a French father and a Cameroonian mother. After living in France as children, the siblings moved with their parents to the African country of Chad in 1985, when Helene (born 1975) was ten and...
Full Bio
Nü Revolution, Les Nubians
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