ALBUM REVIEW- THE NOFORK HOTEL by VILLAGERS BAND
The villager’s band was introduced to a while back when Ifirst saw the video to their song Kenchic which I thought was brilliantlycaptivating and simple.
I see the relevance of the title of the album in two ways, first4 of their 15 tracks are about foods, drinks or generally eating. And secondlyit is also a pan of sorts as their lyrics are talking of a simple lifestylewhere from my culture our meals were served with no forks to devour them withunlike the table setting in a five star hotel like Norfork.
The group prides itself in playing Benga, lingala and a bitof zouk but I feel their music has an afro fusion touch to it.
Like most afro fusion bands in Kenya there is a religioustrack in the album, track 2 “Petero” that talks of peter’s denial of theknowledge of Christ and draws into the emotions that he might have experienced,the questions playing in his head after the death of his friend.
“Hello hello” fires my arsenals and roars this engine, my body, into a trance of sweet movements. Thesong is of a gentleman wondering what he had been doing or rather what he hadnot been doing to warrant his lady’s sudden wish to leave. He goes looking fora doctor who will heal his heartache and explain his unexpected inevitable lossof a girlfriend who is on her way out. The instruments make a lingala likeintroduction before fading off into an acoustic ness of pleasure then back tothe lingala feel as we beg for the lady not to walk away.
After a luo jazzy feel “Raora” the tempo slows down in thefifth song “Country Girl” as we explore a possibility of dating a country girl takingher hurt as ours and make her feel loved. “….Walk with me along the goldenfield/hold my hand and never let me go/…”
The political whip is track 8 “Liar” as we recalls thepromises that were made five years ago by some politicians only to disappearleaving us ,the one who voted, in the same poor state. The rap was done byMoses QQU Odhiambo from the group NIX making it look like some nice romanticrelationship that was ended by a note saying ‘I love you still, see you in fiveyears’. The electric guitar roars to life and brings the party to a slowelectric death.
“Damu yangu” (Myblood) is so far my favorite. It is anice head shaking track that brings out the first emotions experienced when youspot someone you like and feel attached to, after a while of knowing each otherit is certain that you are meant to be and you try to convince them that wewill be good for each other and you ought to be in my life forever. Now putthat in a song. The guitars and the dram marry so well in this piece oforgasmic creation that got me a date, and a very random one at that (visualizebus stop, me headphones, singing along to the line ….damu yangu inasikizananawe… staring blankly but at a chic in front of me all subconsciously.)
photo by Osborne
Mr walker puts the largest smile on my face as it starts. Itis a story based on a village setting where a young boy sees a lady that helikes and is now in persuit of her. But every time he goes to the girl’s homeit’s the father that he meets and even waiting for her by the river doesnethelp. The description that is given in the middle of the song by moses QQUmakes it very nice to listen to and its lingala slide gets us off the seat toour feet as we do a lower body jig.
“Obama” is the hilarious track in the album. Listen to it toknow why.
“Kenchic” the 12th track is an easy sing along that slowsdown from the sound of Obama and makes you relax. It is a bout a girl who’s sether standards to high for the boyfriend who is unable to please her in the wayshe wants. “Siendi Kenchic pengine Java/…/hapana Jeevanjee pengine Regency/”. Seethe video below.
This is a 15 track album that was released in 2009 has mesmiling through it all, it can easily be played over and over and still derivethe same satisfaction without fail each time. Most of the songs were written bythe lead vocalist Chris Adwar and are very well laid out. The acoustic backingmakes this album beautifully alien in all its essence. It is definitely worthgracing your music collection with an original copy of it.
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Reviewed by Robert Mahebo