Guinean singjay sensation Takana Zion’s latest album Kakilambe is a huge departure from his previous sets, particularly last year’s monster release Rasta Government, an album recorded in Jamaica and dedicated 70’s roots reggae.
Kakilambe’s 16 tunes strays in several different directions and it’s a fascinating journey starting with the partly acoustic dancehall flavored Abada, followed by the rootsy Assali with its pulsating organ and bluesy guitar, then turning to the Ibiza club banger Wali, after which Takana Zion turns to rock with the Pearl Jam styled Aminata.
This album is anywhere and everywhere. It’s boisterous, playful, rhythmically innovative and filled with traditional Guinean folk music and pop hooks, which certainly makes it stand out.
Takana Zion’s play with different languages – English, French and his native susu – also contributes to the somewhat schizophrenic feel of the album, but at the same time it offers plenty of sunshine, hypnotic beats and enthusiastic attempts to do house music.
I’ve been impressed by Takana Zion since I heard his debut album Zion Prophet five years ago. I still hold his talent and vocal skills high, even though parts of this album have him going in the wrong direction.