2007-08-06She was born in Illinois and did most of her growing up in America, but the singer who calls herself Somi -- that's short for L. Kabasomi Kakoma -- is the daughter of Rwandan and Ugandan parents, also spent time living in Africa and, due in no small part to the extremes of that experience, has created a seamless merger of cultures, sounds and emotions with this richly textured recording. Red Soil in My Eyes is all elegance and awe, and attempting to reduce Somi's pan-globalism and command of her artistic environment to a single genre or purpose would be a fruitless endeavor. She skates easily between worlds, touching on both smooth and raucous neo-soul, nuanced jazz expression and more than a dollop of East African tradition until something else all together emerges. - AMG
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