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Angelique Kidjo / 429 Records
Featured: Week starting 1st March / Sunday Morning Coming Down

“EVA” is Angelique Kidjo’s first release within the last four years. The 16 track album celebrates women and reestablishes the singer’s involvement in human rights and female empowerement as an ambassador of UNICEF. Kidjo demonstrates her devotion trough music by naturally adding depth and thickness to her fluorescent vocal melodies, which is enhanced by the joining back vocals and choir symphonies.

The blend of traditional Kenyan and Beninese folk and pop, Carribean rhythms and modern pop guides the western listener toward an inevitable cultural evasion. Produced by Patrick Dillett, the album was recorded in the U.S., France, Luxembourg, and Africa.

“EVA” is inspired by the the artist’s mother Yvonne Kidjo, whose nickname it mirrors. She accompanies her daughter in “Bana”, where both women’s voices join in quite playful Baninese melodies, subtly indicating a sense of union between the singers. Other featuring artists are: ASA, Rostam Batmangllij, Trio Teriba, Dr. John, Kronos Quartet and Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg. These collaborations allow for an interesting blend between different musical backgrounds, yet maintaining a sense of tradition as a core component.

“Shango Wa” will definitely make one reconsider african dance classes; The three Interludes offer access to a more intimate connection with the singer, as the organic, raw vocals are but mildly accompanied by instruments. Along with Kidjo, the female choir creates a “moment” of meeting, in which the combined female singing breathtakingly exhales a junction of living forces. “Awalole” will expand the senses with desire to witness the physical collaboration between the classical orchestra and Kidjo. It is a point where the heritage of tradition meets the grandiosity of classical music, resulting in an euphoric listening experience.

Nora Karailieva

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