Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

STAFF BENDA BILILI

Tres Tres Fort

2009-05-17

Staff Benda Bilili is a band of homeless and disabled (four members are paraplegic) people living in the grounds of Kinshasa Zoo in Congo. Benda Bilili literally translates to "put forward what is hidden", which pretty much means to look beyond appearances. Playing mostly home-made and found instruments, including a plastic armchair drum kit, they were "discovered" when introduced to British and US musicians who visited Kinshasa as part of the Africa Express trip of 2007. They won the hearts of members of Massive Attack and Damon Albarn, with whom they performed. This is an album of amazingly optimistic songs that document everyday life for these people. Take the lyrics to "Tonkara", for instance. "I once slept on cardboard. Good luck hit me. I bought myself a mattress. It can happen to you..." Optimistic indeed! Rebecca Ruth.

Quick Links:

More reviews tagged #World

  • reviewed 03/2015

    The Paradise Bangkok Molam International
    21st Century Molam

  • reviewed 05/2011

    VARIOUS
    Cartagena!

  • reviewed 08/2007

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

  • reviewed 11/2004

    Rokia Traore
    Bowmboi

  • reviewed 03/2007

    The Prodigals
    Dreaming In Hell's Kitchen

  • reviewed 07/2011

    DA CRUZ
    Sistema Subversiva

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.