Sunday, October 3, 2010

Who Say I Tire

by Segun Bucknor

Among the classic Afrobeat artists that I have been discovering over the last year or so, the name that has consistently jumped out at me on compilations (after Fela Kuti's of course), has been Segun Bucknor's.  When I saw this double-cd release, I figured it was a good idea to grab it.

Who Say I Tire contains 16 tracks, and describes itself on the back as "the largest compilation of his music to have been released".  The two discs are packed with some wonderful music, as Bucknor moves from the classic, big-band sound of Afrobeat to some smaller, more intimate tracks.

Stand outs include the twelve plus minute long 'Sorrow Sorrow Sorrow', 'Gbmojo', and two different versions of 'La La La'.  There is a nice balance of instrumental tracks with songs.  A favourite of mine is the lovely 'Only in My Sleep', a love song.  I also like the very female-empowering 'Love and Affection'.

The most political song here is 'Son of January 15th', a reference to the coup that killed Nigeria's first prime minister in 1966.  Bucknor had a handle on the problems of his country, as evidenced in songs like 'Adebo', which is also a classic Afrobeat anthem.

I can't recommend this album enough to people looking to understand the diversity of Afrobeat music, and the contributions of this one man.  As with all of these types of releases, the liner notes are dense and scholarly.

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