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Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Somewhere In Afrika CD (album) cover


Manfred Mann's Earth Band


Eclectic Prog

3.03 | 107 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars A politically incorrect album for Mann. A tribute to Africa. Why not after all?

Some world music "avant la lettre" or at least in its early days if we consider its rock implication..

The integration of these African sounds (percussions, vocals) is made to the detriment of prog elements. But it has been quite a while already that Mann didn't sound really prog. This project was a way for him to show his roots and stand as one of the white South African artists fighting against apartheid (there weren't many in those remote times). Only therefore, his courage needs to be underlined.

The album opens on the synth pop "Tribal Statistics". Combined with "African" backing vocals. The result is not really encouraging. These ethnic influences combined with the most boring electro pop are present as well in "Demolition Man" (a cover) which follows another uninspired "Eyes Of Nostradamus". The nadir of this album IMO. Press nextT.

A heavier rock style has also its place, and even if it is somewhat repetitive "Third World Service" is one of the best song from this work. One of my fave is the short "Brothers And Sisters Of Azania". It could have been a little longer and instrumental. Vocals shouldn't have been added IMO. The music was so pleasant before they entered the scene.

In terms of music, I can't get thrilled with the "Africa Suite" either. A heavy tribal rock song with little inspiration. I guess that the higher you praise world music, the higher you would rate this album. This genre has never been my cup of tea, so in terms of rating.

This album (almost) ends with a cover song. This time, Mann revisits Marley's repertoire and totally re- write the average original (from the album Uprising - 1980) into a more vibrant hymn, with lots of African influences. The best one from this album (but this is not difficult). Once again, his interpretation has nothing to do with the original. Much, much better (especially the long version).

And the useless and closing "Somewhere In Afrika" (very short, fortunately) is not a good choice for a closing number but at this stage you can't press nextT.

A very average album. Two stars.

ZowieZiggy | 2/5 |


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