This is a benefit album for a larger project—reconciliation meetings between victim and perpetrator in former international warzones, emphasis on Sierra Leone. Send them a donation and they’ll send you a CD. The line-up for this low-profile charity album is formidable—Idan Raichel, Vieux Farka Toure, Dengue Fever—but I was most excited by the inclusion of the Iranian sister-duo Abjeez, whose smooth vocal slide plus strong beat on “Nasle Man” is a bridge between pop and reggae. The compilation starts with rap, softens down to atmospherics, noodles over a bluesman’s problems with Houston, and speeds up again into a track from from New York reggae band Noble Society, who “know who’s responsible” for the troubles in the world. Seriously? Who? “The ignorant ones.” Ah. Bajah + Dry Eye Crew, rapping about the Sierra Leone electorate, have a sharper fix on their target—a sharper fix overall would have given the album a more coherent shape, but that’s charity comps for yiz. Worthy cause, worthwhile album.
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// 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