Johnny Clegg One Life

At first glance, Johnny Clegg looks like just some other English guy with a fascination for African culture and music. But dig only a tiny bit deeper and the title "White Zulu” comes up and suddenly Clegg is part of a much more interesting back-story. Born in England, he was raised by his mother and grandparents in Zimbabwe and South Africa. He spent time amongst the Zulu, enough to be adopted into a tribe. He started recording back in the mid-’80s and is definitely an artist of a particular era; his sound is highly reminiscent of the more rocked out parts of Paul Simon’s Graceland and One Life follows suit with earlier albums. There are some subtle modernisations, interesting filters on the rumbling chorus voices in "Jongosi” and a really nice higher end vocal groove in "Faut Pas Braisser Les Bras.” The single attempt at quasi-rap is pretty laughable, with the lyrics "The revolution will eat its children” and really bad synthesised backups, but fortunately it only happens once, can be chalked up to a mid-musical life crisis and ignored in favour of the rest of this truly engaging album. (Marabi)