The signs before I got this album were very strong indeed. Not only were the two tracks that did the rounds first ‘Yoshua Alikuti’ and ‘Kondaine’ pretty bloody amazing, but the videos that accompanied them were amazing as well. Then the album turned up, and showed itself to be a worthy successor to their 2009 debut, The Warm Heart Of Africa.
Since the debut came out Etienne Trot has left the group, so they are now a duo, Malawian singer Esau Mwamwaya and London-based Swedish producer Johan Hugo. Yes, this album may seem a little dancier than their previous album, but it is my pleasure to be able to report that the album builds upon the foundations of the debut.
There’s an impressive cast list that includes not only Baaba Maal, K’naan and Amadou & Miriam, but also, erm, Bruno Mars on ‘We OK.’ This is an album for the heart, as much as the feet and the ears. I can’t dance for toffee, but this album makes me wish I could. It’s not a plundering of African sounds for Western audiences any more than their debut was, but it is a welcome dash of sunshine, especially when we’ve had so little of it in Scotland so far this summer.
So addictive is this album that I’ve had it on repeated play on more than one occasion. Whatever the weather, get this on your stereo.