Femi Kuti, 'Day by Day' (Mercer Street)

6
Day by Day
Critical Mass
Label: Downtown

by Mosi Reeves

On his first collection of original material since 2001's Fight to Win, Afrobeat scion Femi Kuti and his sprawling Positive Force ensemble unfurl 12 songs of serpentine rhythms and civic disobedience. Aside from the jittery, synth-tinged restlessness of "One, Two," Kuti sticks to familiar ground, leading ecstatic funk workouts such as "Tell Me" and questioning political truisms on "Demo Crazy" and "Tension Grip Africa." Though Day by Day doesn't include any tracks as memorable as 1999's "Beng Beng Beng," Kuti still shines.

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