Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Robert Carlberg | Seattle | 04/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is unfortunate that this album is currently unavailable, because it's one of the finest examples of Afro-Pop that I've yet run across.
Initially alerted to this 1992 album by the stunning track "Nweti" which has been anthologized on two different collections ("Indépendencia! 1975-1995" and Putumayo's "Women of the World," both 1995), it took me over 2 years to track down a copy of the original. Fortunately I was not disappointed.
Amoya is a 7-piece band from Mozambique, aided on this album by six additional musicians for a big, big sound. Group vocals characterize most of the songs, but "Nweti" and a few others feature Elisa Dominas Salatiel Jamisse, who has a beautiful big soulful voice not dissimilar to Angélique Kidjo (which is saying something). The instrumental backing features a full horn section, synthesizers and a stunning guitarist (Virgilio Francisco Soquiço) who could give Carlos Santana a run for his money. The band's sound is modern and professional, without crossing over into the overslick L.A. production of, say, Spyro Gyra. The best comparison might be to Johnny Clegg's Savuka -- another high praise indeed!
Amoya's true strength however lies in their vocals. Often 2 or 3 parts overlay and interweave, sometimes sung in solo voices and more often doubled or tripled. The voices are pitch-perfect and neat, without any trace of the yodelling melismata that infects so much contemporary music today. The lyrics don't appear to be in Portuguese (the official language of Mozambique), although whether Swahili, Mwani, Zulu or one of the other 35 native languages I cannot say.
In short, this album is a highly musical, thoroughly professional, joyeous celebration of life which has been on heavy rotation here without wearing out its welcome."