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Kokoo Girl

(Rootdown; US: 7 Jul 2009; UK: 20 Jul 2009)

Looking at the title and the cover picture one might think Kokoo Girl was going to be either jokey or satirical. It’s neither. The album bounces with nuttiness in the ska sense of the word, an energy so relentless that it goes beyond normal happiness into a kind of fun mania. Jaqee occasionally lets the nuttiness stand on its own but more often mates it with hip hop, Brit pop and other things, using it, in a song like “Voodoo Elephant”, to punch the mood up—the way Missy Elliot’s “Get UR Freak On” made itself breathless with tabla. The music is painted with broad, vivid strokes, but within that broadness there is room for delicacies to give the album character—the “Oh oh oh” in “Take It or Leave It”, the croak she puts on and takes off and an unexplained enthusiasm for elephants.


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