Samite

Tunula Eno

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AllMusic Review by

Samite's Tunula Eno is a musical memoir about the last year of the Ugandan singer/songwriter's wife's life. Unlike many similar records -- the Eels' Electro-Shock Blues, about the deaths of singer/songwriter E's mother and sister, comes immediately to mind -- Tunula Eno is not a difficult, depressing listen. Of course, this may well have much to do with the fact that the average Western listener won't understand the lyrics, which are written in Samite's native tongue, but even on a musical level, there's a lightness to Tunula Eno, a buoyancy familiar to fans of Ugandan and other South African musics, that lifts the spirits even on comparatively downbeat songs, like the delicate title track, or "Yazala Arambuti": reveries for voice and acoustic guitar that would not sound out of place on one of Cat Stevens' early-'70s records. The closing "Dawaya Mwoyo," a mostly-instrumental farewell for thumb piano and percussion, ends the album on an elegiac but oddly uplifting note.

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