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 06/2005

    Matisyahu
    Live at Stubb's

  • reviewed 08/2007

    SENTI TOY
    How Many Stories Do You Read On My Face?

  • reviewed 07/2004

    Youssou N’Dour
    Egypt

  • reviewed 05/2007

    R CARLOS NAKAI with UDI BAR-DAVID
    Voyagers

  • reviewed 05/2008

    Scythian
    Immigrant Road Show

  • reviewed 08/2012

    BIBI TANGA AND THE SELENITES
    40 Degrees of Sunshine

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.