Genre:Soul Funk
Catalogue Number:CIDM1112
Release Date:1996-03-21
Review:Kidjo takes further strides from African tradition to western soul-pop with the star-studded, 10-track Fifa. The diminutive diva from Benin with the big voice may offend some with her perceived "sellout," but she answers in turn that western pop is a worldwide phenomenon--and she is not afraid to assimilate it into her own music. With stars like Ray Lema and Jacob Desvarieux backing her up, Kidjo determinedly goes where she wants. Underneath the glossy beats of tracks like "Wombo Lombo," "Welcome," and "Koro Koro" lies a canny use of traditional structures and motifs. Kidjo can also handle pure African ballads like "Naima" (with guitar work from Carlos Santana), but her ability to marry music forms has hindered the efforts of the marketing folks, confused by an artist with feet so firmly planted on both sides of the aisle. --Derek Rath