trageser.com
Music Review

Home
Computers
Book Reviews and Reading Diary
CD Buying Guide and Music Links
Best-of lists
CD Reviews
CDs, sorted by Style
CDs, sorted by year issued
CDs, sorted by publication review ran in
CDs by San Diego bands
All CDs, sorted by band name
All CDs, sorted by album title
Interviews
Links
Favorite quotations
Contact Me



Mozambique pop full of beautiful hooks

Yellela
Yellela
By Eyuphuro

World Music Network: 2001

Buy it on CD now from Amazon.com
Buy it now


This review first appeared in the November 18, 2001 edition of the American Reporter.

According to such folks as know these things, Eyuphuro was one of the most popular bands in Mozambique in the '80s before breaking up. Certainly, Eyuphuro was one of the most popular bands from Mozambique, touring Europe and the United States in the late '80s before breaking up.

A few years back, lead singer Zena Bacar re-formed the band, and now they have released their first new album, "Yellela."

Western listeners of South African pop will probably find Eyuphuro's marrabenta style fairly familiar. The beat isn't as complex as some African forms, nor as dance-oriented. It's a shuffle sort of rhythm which keeps the focus on the singers.

Given the strength of Bacar and new co-lead singer, Issufo Manuel, the focus is exactly where it needs to be.

Bacar's voice is rough, much like Billie Holiday's toward the end of her life. And like Holiday's, that raw quality only makes her singing that much more expressive – a remarkable feat, given that none of the lyrics are in English.

And when Bacar and Manual back each other, the harmonies are exquisite.

Here's hoping Eyuphuro sticks around a little longer this time.