Manfred Mann's Earth Band

Somewhere in Afrika

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Somewhere in Afrika, an ode to Mann's home country of South Africa, contains a formula that is atypical of Manfred Mann's Earth Band sound. With rhythms that combine an African flavor with a modern rock feel, vocalist Mick Rogers takes over on vocals with the number 22 hit "Runner," released as the album's only single. Tracks such as "Demolition Man" and "Eyes of Nostradamus" are model Earth Band efforts, but the compelling material lies in songs such as "Lalela," "Koze Kobenini," and the title track, which conveys Mann's love for his birthplace without sounding overly pretentious or manufactured. The instrumentation is solid and free-flowing, with drums and other percussion work coming to the forefront while maintaining the group's atmosphere as a rock band. Somewhere in Afrika gave Manfred Mann's Earth Band their highest-charting American album since 1976's The Roaring Silence, peaking at number 40, but the tight musicianship and unrestricted layout of the music prove that the album should have placed much higher.

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