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. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.

 

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

Saul Williams Commands Attention at Summerstage (Photos + Video)

// Notes from the Road

"Saul Williams played a free, powerful Summerstage show ahead of his appearance at Afropunk this weekend.

READ the article