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- Wicked Leaders by King Ayisoba
8/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 15 August 2014
Here's the second album of contemporary Ghanaian music by King Ayisoba, following his well received 'Modern Ghanaians' LP. Ayisoba plays a traditional two-string guitar called the Kologo. It's quite a varied album, ranging from busy polyrhythmic anthems to thoughtful and quiet numbers like 'Yele Mengire Nbo Se'ena (Election Song)' and 'Song for Peace' where it's just him and his kologo.
It's the upbeat numbers I'm enjoying the most. The title track is an early highlight with a big group-chanted chorus, boingy hand drums, handclaps, honking trumpet and hoarse, rasping rants over the top. Zea join him on 'Akolbire', which is based around a simple fuzz guitar riff, twangs and rhythmic slaps from the kologo and some punchy harmonised vocals. 'Mbhee' is a lot of fun too, with a squeaky flute, drivingly repetitive verses and a quite funny chorus where they're all doing sheep noises. The liner notes explain that "You have to respect your animals...The woman sings and calls King Ayisoba: 'It is daybreak, why did you not go and open the gate and let the cows and the sheep graze.' That is why they cry mbhee - because they are hungry". It's a very entertaining album.
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