Album Review: Nico & Vinz, 'Black Star Elephant'

Would you be wrong for thinking that Nico & Vinz could be some­thing for real? Yup.

The Norwegian duo may have boasted one of the songs of the summer in "Am I Wrong," but on its debut album, Nico Sereba and Vincent Dery prove the chorus of doubters right. The LP trumpets its empowering, pan-global ambitions: The title nods to the pair's family roots in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, combining the nicknames of each country's national soccer team.

But the music is much tamer. Lyrics like "You don't have to be big and tall/To stand up and hold your own" (from "Miracles") play like inspirational memes. Still, their hearts are in such the right place that it's hard to totally root against them, and breezy ditties like "Know What I'm Not," another Sting-esque slice of reggae-pop, have their catchy charms. Then again, there are Afro-cheese moments like "Imagine" -- faux tribal, complete with chants -- where Black Star Elephant goes all amateur theater Lion King on you. That shows just how wrong Nico & Vinz can be.