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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

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Now this is different. There a few resemblences to their 70's albums, but this is still very progessive, just in different ways. Mann tackles an important subject in a very creative way. Where some artists would have brought the South African elements to the forefront and set the music to either all straightforward or non-English lyrics, Mann crafts a well-tempered blend of straightforward anthem-like messages, deep introspection, South African influences, electronic percussion, and synths that are both new and drawing from his previous styles. There are some elements of the old Earth Band sound (Chris Thompson and Steve Waller both make their contributions), but this is very much a Mann project. You can feel his personal connection to the music and message, especially in the urgently emotional "Brothers and Sisters of Azania." I had the Arista version, the one that starts with "Demolition Man", a track that I think is very underrated and right up there with their other covers, and contains the hit "Runner", a song that I feel was ahead of its time in terms of synth sound (that first moog line, in particular). I like the way (at least this version of) the album starts off with the songs that would get the attention of the audience he's trying to reach and gradually blends into the heavier stuff. Mann really knew what he was doing with the varied sequencing for different markets, a move that in some cases would have been taken as trying to make as much money as possible, but in this case of trying to get such an important message to as much of the world as possible, should be taken as very honorable. I think the song "Rebel" is the best of the pop songs, a very easy song to sing along to. "Eyes of Nostradamus" rings out, and the ethnic chanting and percussion on the "Africa Suite" brings chills to the cold, electronic sound the band creates. The emotional element is high on each track, and this is a very underrated classic.
7headedchicken | 5/5 |


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