Tanya St. Val

Ansanm

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AllMusic Review by

Ansanm is Tanya St. Val's follow-up to the enormously successful Secret. The Queen of Soul-Zouk comes through again in a strong style, honing her patented sound even further. Ansanm takes some welcome chances in new directions while giving soul-zouk lovers a dose of languid tropical tempos. The top of the album jumps out of the gate with a zouk beton, the faster, more percussive style. On succeeding tracks she weaves in some unobtrusive rap and sympathetic duos with Slai, Smiley, Alan Cave (formerly with the group Zin), and Emeline Michel. The bass throbs throughout and Bago's percussion is nimble and punchy, especially on the title track and "Tous Ces Hommes." The rest of the tracks, unfortunately, feature programmed drums, but they're done with finesse and drive. "Anmwe" is a moving dance track that seems to walk the fine line between Antillean rhythms and Euro-dance. "Caribbean Feelin'" unites soca-zouk cadence with a soukous riff for the benefit of the hips and feet. The title track hits the soul-zouk sweet spot with big, fat beats thanks to Bago's hands on the skin. "Tous Ces Hommes," a tribute to the cries and tears of all men and women seeking freedom and equality, is another standout track with that subtle Antillean swing underpinning the rhythm. Highly recommended.

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