Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: album reviews, Bob Marley, Ezra Koenig, M.I.A., Releases of the Week, The Very Best, Vampire Weekend
PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD The Very Best’s “Warm Heart of Africa” (Ft. Ezra Koenig) MP3
WE GIVE IT: 14/20 Watts
The Very Best bring an eclectic and global sound to the scene with their new album Warm Heart of Africa. Fans of anyone from Vampire Weekend to Bob Marley will have no trouble falling in love with the voice of Esau Mwamwaya and the rhythmic beats provided by producers Johan Hugo and DJ Tron. This trio revives a sound that has been missing from music for decades.
While each song has a very different feel, the flow of the album as a whole is not disrupted. Boredom is not an option as the pace of the album moves from relaxing, to racy, from one song to the next. Unlike most artists in today’s afro-beat genre, this album provides a natural, rather than forced sound. Wirth this in mind, The Very Best do a perfect job in combining traditional African music with the modern twist it needs to be relevant.
Any fan of afro-beat, hip hop or dance music will find at least one song to fall in love with on this album. The start of every song lures listeners in, be it with the electronic noise of dance music or the natural sounds of a rainforest. The vocal harmonies, paired with the circular rhythms of the drums and industrial vibes provide a unique and uplifting musical experience that’s both enjoyable and infectious.
Also, the guest artists on this album, Ezra Koenig and M.I.A., could not have meshed better with the voice of Mwamwaya. The title track, “Warm Heart of Africa,” which features Koenig, has obvious influences from his main act, Vampire Weekend. Meanwhile, M.I.A. steps a little further out of her usual niche on “Rain Dance”, a song which could not have been more appropriately titled. It’s just one of the various tracks on Warm Heart of Africa that will inevitably cause spontaneous dancing.
Though the album may lack depth lyrically and conceptually, it surely makes up for it with its unparalleled level of fun, as well as its ability to capture a listener and take them to a far away place, instantaneously. The Very Best have done an incredible job at bringing something much-needed to the music scene and are sure to receive mainstream recognition for their pronounced talents after such a well-crafted effort.
— Alyssa McKinley