Coco Mbassi - Joa

Published Tuesday 28th July 2015
Coco Mbassi - Joa
Coco Mbassi - Joa

STYLE: World
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 153973-22597
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Lins Honeyman

The title of the first new release from renowned Cameroon-born singer/songwriter Coco Mbassi in over a decade can be translated from the Duala language as "maturity" and the 12 songs on this stunning album certainly reflect this theme. Whilst there is an intrinsic Central and West African feel to proceedings with the infectious rhythms and indigenous instrumentation associated with the region featuring throughout, Mbassi encompasses a range of other influences to effortlessly offer up a collection of tracks that extend beyond African shores whilst all the time keeping their musical roots firmly planted in native soil. For instance, classical elements are evident in the captivating "Madoi" whilst the gentle groove of "Mande" mixes African and Eastern influences to good effect. Thankfully, each song is instrumentally free from clutter with producer/guitarist Serge Ngando leaving ample space for Mbassi's wistful and evocative voice to succeed in its task of giving up a consistently rich and melodic performance that oozes meaning and beauty despite the language barrier. Mbassi's Christian faith is never far from the fore with "Dibongo" meditating on Proverbs 22:6 and both "Diwuta" and "Makaki" paying tribute to God's faithfulness whilst a cover of respected African composer Dina Bell's "Bazor" is the icing on the cake.

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