King Sunny Ade

Classics, Vol. 2: Ekilo Fomo Ode & the Way Forward

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The seemingly random pairings of King Sunny Ade albums in this reissue series defies logic. There's certainly no accounting for putting an early work -- from around 1974 -- with something that apparently came two decades later. And, beyond completeness, there's no real reason for including the two long tracks of Way Forward at all. While it's meant to be an inspirational piece about Nigeria and progress, musically it limps along compared to most of Ade's catalog. The earlier stuff, while far less formed, is preferable, a sort of psychedelic Ade, with lots of spacy effects and some wonderful guitar that actually goes nowhere but sounds great. The first four cuts are the standout, when the band was in top form, but it's all worth having as the roots of modern juju, influenced by the West.

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