Papa Wemba

Somo Trop

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Somo Trop Review

by Chris Nickson

No doubt that two CDs of Papa Wemba is like heaven for his fans (and probably a godsend for the legal bills he currently had, facing trial in Europe for transporting illegal immigrants). However, there's a definite caveat to this. The first CD is a bit of a mess, featuring Wemba with a relatively new band, Nouvelle Ecrita. It's soukous, which means fast beats and only occasional moments when that glorious voice rises above the fray of rhythm, speed, and guitar. Better to skip to the second CD, where Wemba is backed by Viva la Musica, his longtime partners, and where the pace slows to rumba and Wemba gets to emote properly over a more relaxed backdrop. This is the stuff indeed, with real songs and melodies that are a balm to the ears, and a reminder that Wemba has still got it (as does the band, who rise to any and every challenge along the way).

blue highlight denotes track pick