Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Trouble Sleep
There's a case to be made for Red Hot + Riot: A Tribute to the Music and Spirit of Fela Kuti being one of the year's best albums. I've listened to this album for a couple of months now, and am still immensely impressed with it's greatness; but somehow, I haven't been able to figure out a way to write about it adequately. So I won't worry about that - it's just a beautiful album. I was trying to think why this album grabs me in much the same way as my not-too-secret fave, Bjork, as well as another fave from 2002, the 2nd Sigur Ros album. It's how emotional it is, I suppose; and then I realized that it expresses something I rarely, if ever, hear in Bjork's music - anger. I've avoided posting any clips from it, as no one song could adequately represent the flavor of the album, but the final track - Taj Mahal’s magical and gentle take on ‘Trouble Sleep Yanga Wake Am’, featuring Baaba Maal and Kaouding Cissoko - so different from the rest of the album, is of such haunting beauty. It draws me in, makes me pull myself away from whatever I am doing, and I can just quietly listen, enjoy, and be enveloped by it's sadness. It's a long download, the tune itself is over 10 minutes long; I suggest saving it for when you can turn it up, and have the time to really appreciate it (of course, buying the disc is even better!) ---- Trouble Sleep Yanga Wake Am.