Critics are predicting that King Sunny Ade’s juju will catch on in America as reggae did – the same thing they once said about Fela Kuti’s Afro-beat. But while Bob Marley shaped reggae to fit rock’s three-minute song structures, Nigeria’s Ade, like Kuti, fuses traditional African music and Western pop without stifling the former’s expansive flow. The 18-minute ”Synchro System” allows funk bass, propulsive rhythms, and guitar riffs – topped with alternately delicate and forceful vocals – to meander. Ideal for a party, not for radio.
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