Hallelujah! Finally an album for children that doesn't talk down to them. That could just be because the music here was selected by kids, who obviously have better taste than most adults -- and certainly more adventurous. A disc that ranges from the electro roots of Mali's Issa Bagoyogo, through JJC & 419 Squad's rap, to the glorious Zulu harmonies of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, is definitely doing something right. The disc also spans the continent very well, with some great sounds from Ethiopia, Nigeria (a smoking track from drummer Tony Allen), South African, and even the all too often ignored Mozambique. To anyone interested in music, every track is a killer, too, often pushing at envelopes, like the hip-hop of Tanzania's X Plastaz with "Kutesa Kwa Zamu" or the mix of Congolese soukous with Zimbabwean chimurenga that earmarks "Tornadoes vs Dynamos (3-3)" by Real Sounds, which also brings in the pan-African passion for soccer. This disc serves as a very strong reminder that kids don't need things simplified. They can enjoy good music every bit as much as adults, and with just as much variety -- certainly without the twee quality that characterizes so much children's music. Listen by yourself or with your kids; either way you'll love it.
|Label:||World Music Network|