Monday 11 August 2008
"After nearly 15 years as Nigeria's biggest musical draw and juju music's reigning monarch, King Sunny Ade went global in 1982 with a brief but fertile stint on the Mango label. The three albums that resulted -- Juju Music, Synchro System, and Aura -- gave Ade unprecedented exposure on the Western market and introduced a slew of music lovers to the sounds of Afro-pop. Juju Music was the first of Ade's Mango titles and remains the best of the lot. Over the course of seven extended cuts, King Sunny Ade & His African Beats lay down their trademark mix of talking drum-driven grooves, multi-guitar weaves, lilting vocal harmonies, and pedal steel accents; for this major-label debut, the band also chucks in some tasteful synthesizer bits and a few reggae-dub flourishes. Besides classic juju pop like 'Ja Funmi' and 'Ma Jaiye Oni,' Ade and his 20-piece entourage serve up percussion breakdowns like 'Sunny Ti de Ariya' and a heady blend of soul, dub, and synth noodlings on '365 Is My Number/The Message.' Throughout, Ade deftly inserts Hawaiian slide guitar licks and Spanish-tinged lines reminiscent of Hendrix' 'All Along the Watchtower.' Juju Music should not only be the first-disc choice for Ade newcomers, but for the Afro-pop curious as well."
Stephen Cook, allmusic.com
1. Ja Funmi
2. Eje Nlo Gba Ara Mi
3. Mo Beru Agba
4. Sunny Ti de Ariya
5. Ma Jaiye Oni
6. 365 Is My Number/The Message
7. Samba/E Falaba Lewe
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