Seun Kuti From Africa With Fury: Rise

Seun Kuti From Africa With Fury: Rise
Seun Kuti is one of the lucky ones ― when he sings about "The Good Leaf," he doesn't get the munchies and crash out, it merely makes him funk harder. Kuti the younger's second album is similar to his first, but forged by a long road of touring, which has honed these songs to perfection, and sonically fleshed out to a grand degree by producer Brian Eno. Aside from the dub-inflected title track (one of the few Eno-esque moments on the entire CD), every song moves from simmer to rolling boil within a few minutes. Choose your enemy: corrupt politicians, the bloodthirsty military or latter-day slave masters, Kuti has them all in his sights. This isn't unusual territory for Afrobeat, which isn't known for tender love ballads unless marijuana is the subject. Still, this Kuti hasn't been worn down by life like older brother Femi, who these days sounds like a shadow of his former self. Seun is still getting used to being impassioned and articulate; he couldn't have written a song like "For Them Eye" for his first record. Thanks to Eno, his musical articulation is much better. Other than Wally Badarou's production of Fela's Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense, it's hard to think of a fuller-sounding Afrobeat record. And this one gets your ass in gear much faster. (Knitting Factory)