Firstly, a confession. I don’t know a terrible lot about African music. Aside from an appreciation of The Four Brothers and The Bhundu Boys in the eighties, and Amadou and Mariam more recently, it is fairly unchartered territory for me.
What I do know is Seun Kuti is the son of the renowned Fela Kuti, and his father was a previous leader of the band that plays on this album, Eqypt 80.
The album may only be seven tracks long, but most of the tracks clock in at about seven minutes, meaning plenty of value for money. African Soldier reminds me of something Pigbag might have ripped off back in the day, an odd reference point maybe, but remember I’m starting from a fairly blank canvas here. Generally guitars are sprightly, rhythms are bouncy and horns and squealing. From the lyrics I can make out, these are songs of the fight for freedom, the fight against oppression and corporations, and inspirational words to his fellow people.
Musically and lyrically Seun has won me over, and I can wholeheartedly recommend this as a good starting point for a foray into African music.
From Africa With Fury: Rise is out now on Because Music