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The Very Best|Makes a King

Makes a King

The Very Best

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The third studio long player from the Swedish-Malawian duo, Makes a King finds The Very Best doing what they do the very best; offering up an alluring amalgamation of politically charged afro pop and slick European house music. Recorded in the lakeside Malawian village of M'dala Chikowa, Makes A King sports a small army of typically cosmopolitan guests, including Baaba Maal, Vampire Weekend bassist Chris Baio, Vaccines guitarist Freddie Cowan, Nigerian-born, London-based electro-pop maestro Seye, LA-based EDM specialist Jutty Taylor (Jutty Ranx), and Jerere, a local Malawian choir. A more bucolic, melodious, and immediate collection of songs than 2012's largely synth-based MTMTMK, Makes A King makes good use of both Esau Mwamwaya's powerful voice and the distinctive environmental sounds and regional instrumentation of M'dala Chikowa, and its best moments occur when the tones reflect the dazzle of the midday sun above ("Mwana Wanga," "Sweka," "Let Go"). Johan Hugo's thick beats and keen ear for melody goes a long way in keeping things lush and DJ appropriate, but when he applies his considerable skills to evoke darker hues ("Hear Me," "Umasiye," "The Dead and the Dreaming"), Makes A King loses some momentum. That said, it's the group's most lived in and emotionally authentic sounding release to date; it certainly doesn't fiddle too much with the formula, but that's hardly a negative.

© James Christopher Monger /TiVo

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Makes a King

The Very Best

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1
Nkhondo
00:01:48

Esau Mwamwaya, Composer - Johan Karlberg, Composer - The Very Best, MainArtist

2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music 2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music

2
Hear Me
00:04:40

Esau Mwamwaya, Composer - Johan Karlberg, Composer - The Very Best, MainArtist

2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music 2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music

3
Let Go
00:03:36

Esau Mwamwaya, Composer - Johan Karlberg, Composer - The Very Best, MainArtist - Freddie Cowan, Composer

2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music 2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music

4
Guju Guju
00:03:26

Esau Mwamwaya, Composer - Johan Karlberg, Composer - The Very Best, MainArtist

2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music 2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music

5
Bilimankhwe
00:01:48

Esau Mwamwaya, Composer - Johan Karlberg, Composer - The Very Best, MainArtist - Jerere, FeaturedArtist

2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music 2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music

6
Sweka
00:04:09

Esau Mwamwaya, Composer - Johan Karlberg, Composer - The Very Best, MainArtist - Simon Anthony Ribchester, Composer

2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music 2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music

7
Mwana Wanga
00:03:35

Esau Mwamwaya, Composer - Johan Karlberg, Composer - The Very Best, MainArtist - Seye Adelekan, Composer - Hannah Yadi, Composer

2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music 2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music

8
Mariana
00:03:58

Esau Mwamwaya, Composer - Johan Karlberg, Composer - The Very Best, MainArtist - Seye Adelekan, Composer - Seye, FeaturedArtist

2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music 2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music

9
The Dead and the Dreaming
00:03:45

Esau Mwamwaya, Composer - Johan Karlberg, Composer - The Very Best, MainArtist - Seye Adelekan, Composer - Seye, FeaturedArtist

2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music 2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music

10
Kanyale
00:04:08

Esau Mwamwaya, Composer - Johan Karlberg, Composer - The Very Best, MainArtist

2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music 2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music

11
Umasiye
00:04:21

Esau Mwamwaya, Composer - Johan Karlberg, Composer - The Very Best, MainArtist - Baaba Maal, Composer, FeaturedArtist

2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music 2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music

12
Ufumu
00:01:37

Esau Mwamwaya, Composer - Johan Karlberg, Composer - The Very Best, MainArtist

2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music 2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music

13
Makes a King
00:04:33

Esau Mwamwaya, Composer - Johan Karlberg, Composer - The Very Best, MainArtist - Justin Taylor, Composer - Jutty Taylor, FeaturedArtist

2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music 2015 Moshi Moshi Records under exclusive license to PIAS/Cooperative Music

Resenha do Álbum

The third studio long player from the Swedish-Malawian duo, Makes a King finds The Very Best doing what they do the very best; offering up an alluring amalgamation of politically charged afro pop and slick European house music. Recorded in the lakeside Malawian village of M'dala Chikowa, Makes A King sports a small army of typically cosmopolitan guests, including Baaba Maal, Vampire Weekend bassist Chris Baio, Vaccines guitarist Freddie Cowan, Nigerian-born, London-based electro-pop maestro Seye, LA-based EDM specialist Jutty Taylor (Jutty Ranx), and Jerere, a local Malawian choir. A more bucolic, melodious, and immediate collection of songs than 2012's largely synth-based MTMTMK, Makes A King makes good use of both Esau Mwamwaya's powerful voice and the distinctive environmental sounds and regional instrumentation of M'dala Chikowa, and its best moments occur when the tones reflect the dazzle of the midday sun above ("Mwana Wanga," "Sweka," "Let Go"). Johan Hugo's thick beats and keen ear for melody goes a long way in keeping things lush and DJ appropriate, but when he applies his considerable skills to evoke darker hues ("Hear Me," "Umasiye," "The Dead and the Dreaming"), Makes A King loses some momentum. That said, it's the group's most lived in and emotionally authentic sounding release to date; it certainly doesn't fiddle too much with the formula, but that's hardly a negative.

© James Christopher Monger /TiVo

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