Elikeh

Adje! Adje!

by Deanne Sole

2 August 2010

 
cover art

Elikeh

Adje! Adje!

(Azalea City)
US: 27 May 2010
UK: Import

Adje! Adje! is an album of strong beginnings and lacklustre middles and ends. Each song bolts off the starting line, muscular with trumpet, sax, and drum, but a little way in something happens: the singer’s voice trails, the music repeats itself without building into a more exciting sound, the trumpet reappears to give it a prod, a guitar has a solo, the song revives, trots for a while, sinks, wanders, rouses itself… The group’s founder, Massama Dogo, raised in Togo and now based in the US, is aiming for an Afrobeat-highlife mix with Togolese folk references, but he sounds hesitant singing in English—his third or fourth language—and that uncertainty translates itself across to the rest of the music. Repeating, “Reticence, reticence, reticence,” or, “Ebony, ebony, ebony,” at the end of a line in “Let’s March”, he seems to lose faith in the word by the third iteration, and this protest piece sounds less impassioned than it should. When the Malian rapper Yeli Fuzzo came in on “Madjo” with the kind of strong delivery that was missing from the other nine songs, I wondered why they didn’t rope him into “Let’s March” and “Aiko” and the rest as well.

Adje! Adje!

Rating:

Topics: afrobeat | togo
 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times.

//comments
//related
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Counterbalance: Elvis Costello's 'Imperial Bedroom'

// Sound Affects

"History repeats the old conceits, the glib replies, the same defeats. Keep your finger on important issues, and keep listening to the 275th most acclaimed album of all time. A 1982 masterpiece is this week's Counterbalance.

READ the article