Seun Kuti – From Africa With Fury: Rise (Because/Rhythmethod) CD REVIEW

LIKE BOB MARLEY, Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti has left more than a few sons behind to continue his legacy, and Seun, with the help of Fela’s former band Egypt 80, seems intent on doing just that.
His second album is brimming with exactly the kind of roiling African funk that his father specialised in, and he’s also seemingly determined to carry on his father’s activism: on From Africa With Fury, Kuti rages against food/chemical giant Monsanto’s exploitation of third world countries, amongst other things.
The differences, however, are palpable. For one, where Fela kept things long-form and loose, these shorter songs are more easily digestible, and both the performances and recording is incredibly slick, without being slimy.
While it doesn’t blaze any new trails, it’s nice to hear the classic Afrobeat sound (which is almost impossible not to wiggle one’s butt to) captured in hi-res, and it sounds fantastic. It’s a joy to hear the rhythms rendered with such power, the subterranean bass captured in all its glory, and those elephantine horns blasting away.
Some may wonder at the involvement of Brian Eno (who seems to be working his sonic magic without explicitly detailing what that is), but the proof is in the pudding. Close your eyes and you can almost imagine that this is Fela, just as you would have heard him with the recording technology available in 2011. Not bad at all. GARY STEEL
Music = 3.5/5
Sound = 4/5

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