Côte d'Ivoire native Alpha Blondy (Sedou Kone) contributed a great song —"Lalogo"—to last year's "World Reggae" compilation on Putumayo.

Côte d'Ivoire native Alpha Blondy (Sedou Kone) contributed a great song —"Lalogo"—to last year's "World Reggae" compilation on Putumayo. Now he's back under his own flag with a 13-song album that will surely measure up as one of the reggae releases of the year. Alpha Blondy wrote 12 of the tunes on "Elohim" and, in the best tradition of the genre, he's more than willing to offer trenchant political and social commentary on the unrest in his country and elsewhere. "Take No Prisoner (Canabalistic)," for instance, addresses the genocidal war in Sudan, submitting the sobering observation: "We take no prisoners/And we eat the wounded." On "Journalists en Danger (Democratie)," he points to the imprisonment and assassination of journalists as a threat to liberty in Africa. Alpha Blondy rocks while imparting these messages, as he also does when working less politically charged material like "Waikiki Rock" and "Djeneba." Every aspect of "Elohim"—its musicianship, lyrics, production—is splendid.—PVV

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