Kae Sun Afriyie

Kae Sun Afriyie
7
Give Ghanaian-born singer-songwriter Kae Sun tons of credit; Afriyie is a solid album that comes off as the genuine sound of the Canadian immigrant experience. Moving to Canada in his teens clearly had an impact on Kae Sun's musical direction; his disparate musical influences — folk, reggae, soul — reveal themselves on a project that's ultimately tricky to define. Transcending the often catchall "world music" tag, but reaching for a "K'naan" level of crossover appeal, Afriyie manages to impress, but not in a mind-blowingly way. The poppy, happy "Heart Healing Pulse" is guaranteed to put smiles on faces and "Dzorwulu Junction" will draw obvious K'naan comparisons, while a harder track like "Lion Unleashed" is a definite standout. But numbers like "When the Pot" and "Stillness," while technically proficient, sonically blend into the background, pulling down the album grade to reside in that space between good and great. Afriyie is an effort that promises Kae Sun will have a long career in this game. (Independent)