Saba: Jidka

[15 October 2007]

By Deanne Sole

Saba Anglana’s debut album is both a likeable set of songs and canny piece of Euro-Afro feelgoodery. Anglana is the daughter of an Italian father and an Ethiopian mother; she sings about immigration, family love, and refugees (we need to put a moratorium on refugee pop songs until someone finds a way of singing about suffering without sounding vapid; those lyrics about starving yet intrepid women and their pitiable children are starting to remind me of “Springtime for Hitler”); she has a fine, expressive voice of a kind you could lie back and dream to; she draws on trendy Afro-ethnic instruments like koras and trendy Ameri-ethnic genres like upbeat pop hip hop (“Le Temps Passe” has Gwen Stefani touches); and she is also a bit of a hottie, arguing by the mere act of existing and letting publicity people take photos of her that African immigration is not a bad thing, that it does not lead to increased crime and racial tension but instead to the presence of pouty-lipped goddesses with steep cleavages and record deals.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/saba-jidka/