Mr. Something Something and Ikwunga The Afrobeat Poet ( )Deep Sleep
World ( )
On Deep Sleep, Mr Something Something return for a third outing in fine form. The spotlight on this album is on Ikwunga The Afrobeat Poet, who dominates vocal duties throughout the album. The match is a fantastic one, and very effective. Ikwunga offers a striking and dynamic vocal style to augment the bubbling Afrobeat grooves. His lyrics are also in line with Mr. Something Something’s social consciousness, as he addresses third world poverty, imperialism, and the pitfalls of modernity. The role of Mr Something Something vocalist Johan Hultqvist is diminished on this outing, but he shines in his limited backing function, offering a refreshing and smooth contrast to Ikwunga’s more stilted, vibrant poetry, particularly on “Di Bombs” and “You Are Beautiful”. While Ikwunga takes the spotlight, it is the music that is most noteworthy. In the past the band has seemed a bit too urgent in their delivery, but the musicians are firmly in pocket on Deep Sleep. The result is a beautifully rich sound, with impressive interplay between the players and tastefully restrained playing. There is no excessive soloing on Deep Sleep, and it is clear that the songs have been constructed with care and precision. With their third release, Mr Something Something make it clear that they are not interested in imitation, while constructing a firm case for themselves as Canada’s premiere Afrobeat band.
By Peter Bradley
Jun 11, 2008