Afrolicious released a strong three-song EP, A Dub for Mali, in 2011, and now here they are releasing a second EP, with 5 tracks this time. The good news: these four new tunes (plus one dub remix) are entertaining and lively. The bad news: it’s just another EP. Surely there must be a full-length just about ready by now?
Whatever. Afrolicious plays a light-hearted, groove-heavy form of soulful funk, powered by bass and keyboards and tempered with Fresh as Life’s good-natured vocals floating on top. Three of the tunes here follow that template, with opening track “Pleasuretime” the most successful. Follow-up “Revolution” is equally booty-shaking but suffers from some fairly vacuous lyrics.
The standout track here is also the shortest: “Bade Malou” checks in at 4:16 and could easily be twice as long, so effectively does it cast its hypnotic net, courtesy of its contrapuntal guitar and basslines, not to mention the vocals of Yacouba Diarra. This is the one song where the “Afro” part of Afrolicious is clearly evident—the vocals sound like Wolof, or Mandinga, or some similar West African language. Memo to the band: Guys, do this kind of thing a lot more on your (soon-to-be released, I hope) debut album.