For those attracted to Les Nubians' brand of Afropean soul, Nü Revolution will represent a welcome return after 2003's spotty One Step Forward, and 2008's various-artists spoken word album Les Nubians Presents Echoes, Chapter One. Their seamless meld of African percussion wed to European lyricism, bilingual vocals (French and English), and modern production techniques is underscored by nu-soul , hip-hop, and lithe African funk grooves. French-Cameroonian sisters Hélène and Célia Faussart's fourth album since 1999 is a typically upbeat affair, but it is adventurous; beginning with the hypnotic "Nü Queens Intro," an instrumental of African percussion. Both advance singles, the slippery funky "Afrodance," and the J. Period remix of "Yveuillez Veiller Sur Vos Reves" -- which also features John Banzaï -- are included on this bubbling 14-song set. The legendary African saxophonist, vibraphonist, and vocalist Manu Dibango appears on the finger-popping "Nü Soul Makossa." Sung entirely in French, the criss-crossing polyrhythms meet the funk backbeat head on, and the sisters move between singing and rapping, with Dibango's voice adding accents as well as a brief but gritty sax solo. The shimmering club soul of "Les Urbans" includes a rap by Blitz the Ambassador near the tune's end. While the title track seems overly long at six minutes, it does include some nice mbira, keyboard, and guitar work. The nocturnal Afropean trip-hop of "Femme Polyandre" is a welcome surprise; and in a much slicker way nods to Erykah Badu's latter day projects. "Deja Vous," a dance track with skittering contrapuntal synthetic loops and vocal interplay between the sisters and Eric Roberson, is a serious candidate for a third single. "Mbengue (A Letter From...)" contains some fine a cappella vocals as well as a seamless meld of nu-soul and hip-hop. Album-closer "Africa for the Future" is a real stepper with the sisters backed by South African supergroup Freshlyground, who offer excellent Township jive guitar lines, and a taut, beautifully arranged horn chart. Nü Revolution is easily the slickest album in Les Nubians catalog; it may also be the most musically accomplished.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek