Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music, Jazz, Pop
Cameroon expatriate Manu Dibango's Wakafrika is arguably the most catholic African album ever recorded. Where else could you hear a Nigerian juju guitarist (King Sunny Ade) team up with a jazzy Cameroon saxophonist (Dibang... more »
Cameroon expatriate Manu Dibango's Wakafrika is arguably the most catholic African album ever recorded. Where else could you hear a Nigerian juju guitarist (King Sunny Ade) team up with a jazzy Cameroon saxophonist (Dibango) to perform a tune by a Benin composer (Wally Badarou)? The guest list goes on. And on. Peter Gabriel (remaking "Biko"), Youssou N'dour, Salif Keita, Sinead O'Connor, Angelique Kidjo, Ladysmith Black Mambazo (doing--what else?--"Wimboweh"), Ray Lema, Toure Kunda, Papa Wemba, and Geoffrey Oryema all pop up at various times. A buttery French production, Wakafrika isn't a bad album, necessarily; Dibango is a smooth, popular homogenizer of afrobeats galore. But it's so predictably diverse as to lack any identity other than its own heavily produced veneer. --Richard Gehr
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It grows on you...
Israel King | 02/11/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I first obtained this CD, it was a mediocre alblum. After listening to it mulitple times I enjoy it."
S. Hawkins | New York, NY | 06/14/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The inter-cultural and inter-genre mixing on this album is enough to make anyone cringe at first glance. Likewise, the titling of Solomon Linda's classic "Mbube" as "Wimoweh" is equally cringe-worthy in its blatant attempt at marketing.
However, once you get by that, you'll hear a decent album. Manu Dibango, no matter how you cut it, is a great musician, and the opening track "Soul Makossa," performed in collaboration with Youssou N'Dour, confirms this.
The fall-down tracks tend to be the South African/South African related ones, in which the end result just sounds somewhat confused (Pata Pata is probably the best of that batch). Not terrible, mind you, just not overly great.
However, all-in-all there are a few tracks that stand out as quite good - Soul Makossa, Wakafrika, and Jingo are all quite good tracks.
The ultimate problem that this album suffers from is that it's good, but nothing really special. Perhaps, as the Amazon.com review notes, the problem is that in bringing in all these artists and trying all these styles, Dibango has to meld everything into a very homogenous sheen. If you really like that sort of worldbeat approach to music, then this is your album. It's pretty upbeat and danceable, yet it lacks a certain individuality and personality."
Israel King | Maryland, USA | 04/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I grew up listening to and seeing Manu Dibango every Friday in Ivory Coast. The man has a groove and tempo in his music that is just hypnotically entertaining. In this particular album he brought in other heavy Weight Champions like Youssur Ndour, King Sony Ade who just take the beat to RootCaly Wonderfull hemisphere. I love it!!!! Dr. Israel King, Ph.D. Author of How To Keep A Man"