The Four Brothers

Best of the Four Brothers: Makorokoto

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This is a compilation of the greatest hits of the Four Brothers, one of the higher-level Zimbabwean groups, slinging a mix of chimurenga, soukous, and maybe a touch of juju. The guitars are the lead instruments for the quartet, standing as the main signal of contemporary Zimbabwean music. The drums also hold a high place, chugging the rhythm along without a break or fill to be heard. The lyrical content is almost entirely of the old morality issues that are so prevalent in much of African music. Marital fidelity, wisdom in spending habits, respect for elders, resistance of temptation, and preservation of the old culture are all recurring themes along the course of the album. Both lyrically and instrumentally, it's more restrained than other Zimbabwean artists (such as Thomas Mapfumo). Whether that's a good thing or not is a decision for the listener -- the Brothers' sound is less adventuresome, but somewhat cleaner as a byproduct. The bigger names are the obvious first steps in Zimbabwean music, but this quartet isn't bad.

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