The Very Best, 'Warm Heart of Africa' (Green Owl)

7
Warm Heart of Africa
Critical Mass
Label: Green Owl

by Larry Fitzmaurice

On last year's mix tape Esau Mwamwaya & Radioclit Are the Very Best, London-via-Malawi singer Mwamwaya lent his exuberant vocals to the British production duo's party-ready remixes of such sonically disparate artists as Michael Jackson, M.I.A., and Vampire Weekend. The trio's official debut further expands their musical palette to include triumphant synth rock ("Chalo") and woozy G-funk ("Julia"). The title track -- featuring VW frontman Ezra Koenig --is pure Afropop pleasure, while Warm Heart's sparser moments ("Nsokoto," the M.I.A.-assisted "Rain Dance") prove less can be, well, less.

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