Search - Henri Dikongue :: C'Est La Vie

C'Est La Vie
Henri Dikongue
C'Est La Vie
Genres: World Music, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

Don't mistake Dikongué's music for the Afro Beat sounds of makossa, the national pop music of his home, Cameroon. He holds a musical ethic much closer to Pierre Akendengue or Francis Bebey--one where poetry and mood prevai...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Henri Dikongue
Title: C'Est La Vie
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Tinder
Original Release Date: 5/7/1998
Re-Release Date: 3/17/1998
Genres: World Music, Pop
Style: Africa
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 789428508625, 3307518268821, 3700368403617

Synopsis

Amazon.com
Don't mistake Dikongué's music for the Afro Beat sounds of makossa, the national pop music of his home, Cameroon. He holds a musical ethic much closer to Pierre Akendengue or Francis Bebey--one where poetry and mood prevail over groove and danceability. This guitarist has integrated not only the Afro-Parisian sound, but allows Latin, Caribbean, and other regions of Africa to flow naturally into his compositions and playing style. It all seems effortless, almost breezy, but there is an underlying poetic complexity that makes the music almost impossible to ignore. Even the "dance tracks" have a suave sophistication and worldliness, a loveliness that is almost unknown to most fans of "African" music. The songs here modulate between simple solo guitar and voice ballads to fuller bands with violin, kit drums, and bass, occasionally allowing even some brass to insinuate itself into the mix. There are one or two saccharine moments, but the intrusion is minimal. Dikongué's sweet, quavering voice and direct acoustic guitar are always front and center, delivering the goods direct to the heart first, and the feet after. --Louis Gibson

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CD Reviews

Speaking in Universal Tongues
K. A. Levine | Stow, MA, USA | 01/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"One can best appreciate the universality of music when listening to artists who sing in a language that one does not understand. One can focus on the sensuality of the voice as another instrument in the arrangement, and bask in the enveloping images. Rarely have I heard a recording that makes this more possible than "C'est La Vie". Dikongue has produced a work of brash introspection and curiously raw sophistication, meticulous simplicity and placid bounciness, if any of this makes sense. It doesn't so much make me dance as sway and just generally groove. The songwriting, melodies, arrangements and production are all far superior to and intimate than his other currently available works. With an understanding that this CD is a consistent effort with no weak links, the strongest cuts are "Ndol'asu" with its swinging rhythms and violins, "Na Tem Ite Idiba", the memorable melody and group vocals of "Na Teleye Owa Ngea", the soaring "We Nde Mba", and "Francoise". If you like world music but would prefer a sample that accentuates the internal beat of the soul while still swinging, "C'est La Vie" is worth many listens."
African album of the year, so far
K. A. Levine | 06/19/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)

"One heartening trend in music these days is the amount of acoustic based music coming out of Africa. There was a time when much African music was synthesizer heavy and over produced, but with albums like last year's superb Ne La Thiass from Cheikh Lo, as well as work by Cesario Evora and others, subtlety seems to be coming back in style. One term I want to stay away from is "authentic", which is hard to define anyway these days. The instrumentation on this beautiful album is largely western - guitars, violin, piano, organ - but it can easily be argued that by now the guitar is a traditional African element - it has certainly been a key instrument in African pop for decades. Henri Dikongue is from Cameroon. He has made an album that alternates gracefully between the delicate and the driving, that soothes the soul and fires up the feet. I can only recommend this highly to anyone who loves good music, from Africa or anywhere else. It has elements of European pop, Cameroonian Makossa, and even the jangling guitars of the Soukous music from nearby Zaire."
Lively and Fun
William W. Hopper | Taxation without Represenation - Washington, DC US | 08/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This CD always brings my mood up by many points. It is something different!"