Various Red Hot + Fela

VariousRed Hot + Fela
Working as an unofficial sequel to 2002's Red Hot + Riot, the 17th submission in the Red Hot Organization's series of benefit albums once again finds a couple dozen artists revisiting the songs of Afrobeat king Fela Kuti. Following in the steps of its predecessor, merging hip-hop, indie rock and world music (sometimes within the same song), Red Hot + Fela features an impressive line-up, including ?uestlove, My Morning Jacket, Tony Allen, tUnE-yArDs, Zaki Ibrahim and members of TV on the Radio. As is the case with Kuti's original material, there's no concrete formula to what makes these numbers so compelling, as Just a Band, Bajah and Chance the Rapper's cover of "Gentleman" is a loose reworking, while "Buy Africa" by Baloji & Orchestre de la Katuba captures Kuti's venomous delivery wholesale. Although many tribute albums have a tendency to come across as disposable, Red Hot + Fela stands with the best Red Hot has to offer. (Knitting Factory)