Ben Okafor - Coffee With Lazarus

Sunday 1st October 2000
Ben Okafor - Coffee With Lazarus
Ben Okafor - Coffee With Lazarus

STYLE: Reggae
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
LABEL: Plankton PCND156

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

It's been eight years since Nigerian born Ben Okafor blessed us with a new album so it isn't surprising that with Lazarus in the title, it should feel like Ben himself has come back from the dead. I've always enjoyed his music and appreciated his skills as a performer, songwriter and observer on previous releases but this album surpasses everything that has gone before. For me, it just feels as though Okafor has finally delivered an album that fully captures his huge talents. Vocally his golden voice is full of emotion (a friend popped his head round the door while I was listening and asked whether it was Bob Marley!) and the arrangements and overall vibe is deliciously full. Recorded in America with room to let the songs breathe, this is fine music mixing reggae, African and various World music styles together into an infectious blend. There's the classic sound of "Deep Love" and the poignant message of "Give Food" which examines the feeding of the five thousand and seeks to provoke the listener to feed the hungry and share God's love. It's powerful stuff. As for my favourite? That has to be the joyful African rhythms of "You'll Be Fine". Listening to this, I don't just want "Coffee With Lazarus", I want breakfast, lunch and dinner! This is excellent.

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