Album: Angelique Kidjo, Õÿö (Razor & Tie/Proper)
Friday 15 January 2010
Õÿö is Beninese diva Angelique Kidjo's celebration of her roots and influences, from early icons such as Miriam Makeba and the Togolese singer Bella Bellow to Santana – whose "Samba Pa Ti" brought the Saturday-night dances of her teenage years to romantic conclusions – and soul and funk legends such as Otis Redding, Curtis Mayfield, Aretha Franklin and James Brown.
Yoruban translations of "Samba Pa Ti" and Otis's "I've Got Dreams To Remember" are included here alongside Makeba's lullaby "Lakutshona Llonga" and a great take on Aretha's "Baby I Love You", but the standout crossovers are a version of Brown's seminal "Cold Sweat", and a duet with John Legend on a "Move On Up" propelled by a bubbling Afro-soul rhythm bed. The Beninese traditional song "Atcha Houn" is the first thing Kidjo ever sang onstage, as a six-year-old stand-in for a sick performer in her mother's theatre company, while "Mbube" is an updated version of the standard "Wimoweh". Most surprising of all, though, are an elegant vocal version of Sidney Bechet's "Petite Fleur" accompanied by bowed bass, and the Bollywood song "Dil Main Chuppa Ke Pyar Ka", recalled from repeated screenings in her childhood.
Download this Move On Up; Cold Sweat; Baby I Love You; Petite Fleur
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
- 2 McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 5 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
This is what a film sex scene actually looks like on set (mostly awkward)
Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
After Sam Smith’s Mobo success, is the help of a pushy parent the surest route to stardom?
Pottermore: JK Rowling writes new Harry Potter story featuring 'greying' 33-year-old wizard
JK Rowling to publish new Harry Potter story online for Halloween
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
Poppy Appeal 2014: This is why I won't be wearing a red poppy this year