Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

TABU LEY ROCHEREAU

The Voice of Lightness

2007-12-30

Beginning in the late 1950s, visionaries in the Congo began inventing a new kind of pop music that would eventually sweep the continent. Combining Cuban rhythms, Congolese percussion, repeating electric guitar figures, and gorgeous vocals, African rumba continues to influence African and Afro-Latin styles around globe. The Voice of Lightness, a career retrospective of legendary singer and bandleader Tabu Ley Rochereau, collects some of the most heavenly sounding music ever made. Opening track "Kelya" suggests some idealized tropical island, but even those delicate vocals are scant preparation for the fragility of the opening notes to "Christine". Also remarkable is Rocherau's vocal on "Mongali" a song told from a woman's point of view, which dispenses with the usual cascading electric guitars in favor of subdued acoustic accompaniment. Every track justifies its inclusion in this two-CD set, from the looping vocal line of "Savon Omo" that echoes the circular guitar lines, to the contrast between the simple, almost cabaret-style melody of "Pesa le Tout" and Dr. Nico's highly ornamental guitar. Rochereau and his band created some of the most sophisticated pop ever made, and if anything, it sounds better than ever now. -- Bob Tarte

For over 1,000 world music CD reviews by Bob Tarte, visit BobTarte.com and click on 'Music Reviews.'

More reviews tagged #World

  • reviewed 01/2008

    VARIOUS ARTISTS
    Radio Noise Vol. 1 & 2

  • reviewed 03/2016

    The Codgers
    Lichfield

  • reviewed 11/2009

    PACHA MASSIVE
    If You Want It

  • reviewed 03/2009

    Liz Carroll and John Doyle
    Double Play

  • reviewed 04/2005

    Jorane
    The You and the Now

  • reviewed 02/2011

    CHICKENFAT KLEZMER ORCHESTRA
    The Space Sessions

Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.