Johnny Clegg

One Life

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It's easy to forget just what a world music pioneer Johnny Clegg was. Back in the '80s he was the first to mix rock and Zulu music, and scored a few global hits doing it. He's still going strong, doing exactly the same thing he's always done -- but it still sounds great, and remarkably fresh and passionate. Perhaps his greatest strengths are that he makes no concession to musical fashion, and that he's never lost the true foundation of his music in South African Zulu culture. The conviction -- along with several powerful, anthemic choruses -- carries him through. The big question is exactly who it will appeal to. There's a retro flavor to the music that still tastes of the '80s, but in a good way, and with that decade never having quite gone out of style, that works for him. The true bottom line is that this is good music, made from the heart, with fire and soul -- and that always stands the test of time.

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