After more twists and turns in his recent record label adventures than the sale of Liverpool FC, it’s great to get a new album from Femi Kuti
Like his father before him there is no evidence of a mellowing with age, in fact quite the reverse. This is an album dominated by the bitterness of one who feels he has been had. Had by the government, by the governors and the whole political class. Had by an international system that displays proudly its benevolence towards his continent while stripping its resources bare, shitting on its environment from a height and condemning millions to a carousel of subsistence and death.
As he wonders aloud on ‘Bad Government’ how is it that Africa produces such great footballers, doctors and other individuals while its countries are in a mess? Most of the tracks on this album have the intensity and punch that makes his live shows so unforgettable but perhaps a little more variety in pace would make the album a better listen. On the other hand in this digital age, how much does that matter?
And if a few of the tracks sound familiar that could because — like the opening track ‘Dem Bobo’ — they have appeared on other albums (in this case Africa Shrine).
Hopefully, this album will get into the hands of some of the many who’ll be checking out the Musical Fela during its run at the National Theatre in November, while Femi himself is doing a short tour of the UK at the end of November / the start of December 2010.