Published May 16, 2014In an interview, Baka Beyond singer Su Hart remarked that music requires an element of telepathy to properly flourish. Despite a five year hiatus, Afro-Celtic band Baka Beyond haven't lost this "sixth sense" for their latest effort, After the Tempest. The album opens on familiar Baka-influenced ground, with deft water drums and Hart's throaty "whroo la la la" calls on "Sylkie," while "Nangating" hosts swerving violin strings and Irish fiddles.
With the inclusion of singer Ellie Jamison, the group's sonic palette feels revitalized, as her smooth vocals neatly wade through the guitars and percussion. However, Baka Beyond have made some odd decisions in Tempest's ornate ten-track cycle. "Malala," an ode to education activist Malala Yousafzai, feels entirely too reverential and out of place. There's also the unshakeable feeling of "been here, done that" that hangs over each song. However, After the Tempest still feels and sounds like paradise while cementing the illustrious 20-plus career of Baka Beyond. (March Hare Music)