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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Haut de gamme / Koweït, rive gauche

Koffi Olomide

1992

Wikipedia

Haut de gamme / Koweït, rive gauche

Rating

2.59

Votes

3343

Reviews

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4

Great African music from the early 90s. My naive comparison would be the Paul Simon's Graceland but without Paul Simon.

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5

The white pants.

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4

This was such an unexpected and fun album. I didn't have my expectation high after looking at the cover but I'm glad I listened to it.

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4

I am truly impressed with the amount of non-western music that is on this list. I loved this album, a unique sound, and very melodic. You can hear some of the French/Belgian influences there, but this is really its own thing. As with a lot of African albums on this list, I do not really feel qualified to rate this in any sort of objective way. But I found this so groovy that I HAVE to give it at least 4.

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1

One star haut of five

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1

My opinion about the music is irrelevant. From the wikipedia page - 'In 2019, He was found guilty by a French court of statutory rape of one of his former dancers when she was 15 years old.[8] He was handed a two-year suspended jail sentence in absentia, as he did not attend court in France.'

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4

Super groovy!! The music gave me lilo and stitch vibes. I tried to read more about the artist but literally every article is in french

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4

This was awesome. Perfect relaxing music with bits of excitement. There was a great variety between each song but all felt perfect for the beach or a relaxing shindig. I've said it before but these are the albums I'm trying to get on this list. Really liked Desespoir but cruised through most of the rest as well.

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4

I must admit that this record immediately took a stranglehold of my heart. Its playful elegance put me in mind of when Ralf Little tickled my virgin anus with a feather duster all those years ago. What a little angel.

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3

Interesting and pleasant enough but I really lack context for this to fully appreciate it. I dig the MS Paint cover though.

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3

I'll have to admit, this is very different from music I normally listen to. It was very refreshing. I don't know if I would put this on and listen to this every day, but I would imagine listening to it every so often; it was very "joyous."

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3

I was instantly attracted to soukous when I first heard it decades ago. In the late 90s I got a pair of tickets to a soukous show at a very intimate venue. It was hard to find someone to come with me. The typical reaction was: "wtf is soukous?" I eventually found someone but from the looks of it many others attending the show were less successful finding a date; there were only around 50 people there. Travelling to another continent is much harder when you’re from the DRC. I expect the musicians that played that gig have to pursue a detailed Visa process from just about everywhere they travel to and it's unfortunate that a multicultural city like Toronto couldn't find more than a handful of people to attend. Unlike Mali and South Africa, DRC never had a Ry Cooder or Paul SImon to tell the North Americans they should check this out. I don't remember who was playing at the gig I went to, but they were much better than Koffi imo. The guitars were sizzling that evening. I'm not a big fan of the ballad-like songs that Koffi plays so only like half the songs. Nonetheless, the guitar licks that the soukous players all seem to have in their repertoire make this an enjoyable listen.

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3

Ah yes, music for white people who have carved African salad tongs aka music played at free trade stores aka music written for white people who watch PBS aka music for anthropology and English professors to get their rocks off on the dance floor aka music played at the local Zoo’s summer concert series. I don’t want to tear this down because it is such happy music. It definitely got my toes tapping. But the dated 90s synth just assassinates any pleasure in my ears. I’m going to be nice though, 3.

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2

First 2 songs were OK, the rest of the album went downhill and lost my interest.

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2

med risk för att låta hemsk men det blir för mycket afrika.

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5

Love this! Need it in my veins!

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5

Fuckin love this

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5

Cinco estrellas no son suficientes. Ya vi que ni les gustó tanto Os Mutantes, esto seguro les dio hueva. En fin, es hermoso.

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5

So upbeat and happy! Loved it

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5

Nice change of pace

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5

Great album. Had an amazing time and was fully relaxed.

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4

I danced a little

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4

Fattede intet, men det lød okay

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4

The music was groovy with strong melodies

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4

Disco alegre (aunque esto pareciera estereotipo de la música de África o del Caribe), con ritmos que suenan a artistas de Senegal o Camerún que he escuchado antes. Quizá no aprecio mucho que haya pistas muy largas, pero definitivamente como música ambiental funcionan bien. Es un disco al que regresaría sólo en momentos específicos, pero no para oír diario. Mis canciones favoritas: "Koweït, Rive Gauche", "Qui cherche trouve" y "Conte de fées". 8.5/10

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4

Música "africana". A veces me recuerda a Juan Luis Guerra.

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4

This right here reeks of the 90s and makes me want to go to the beach, I love it

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4

La verdad me deleitan las guitarras en el soukous; sí me dan ganas de bailar jajaaj. En esta nota, me gustó bastante Qui cherche trouve y la segunda parte de Désespoir y el final de Conte de Fées. Mood: Kwassa Kwassa todo el día y toda la noche.

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4

No conocía al artista pero fue muy interesante encontrarlo en esta losta

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4

I like this style of music.. not a compete triumph but I’m feeling generous!

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4

Enjoyable, uplifting

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4

Rating: 7/10

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4

Eve is such a good influence :) I'm learning to appreciate this kind of music much more! Honestly super fun and unique, at least to me.

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4

I had no idea what to expect with this one but I bloody loved it.

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4

Awesome music that feels nostalgic in a strange way, not that I ever visited the Congo but it really puts you in a specific time and place.

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4

Happy music! I love this style of music - call it soukous or jit, it's impossible not to want to dance

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4

groovy as fuck, 8/10

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4

Some french, some other stuff. Pretty good

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4

Unexpected surprise. Couldn’t understand a word but really enjoyed the rhythm

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4

This is some uplifting, upbeat, refreshing music. I listen to the album twice in a row.

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4

Jammin

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4

Koffi Olomide is a new artist for me. This is a very happy sounding album, with some interesting rhythms throughout the album. I enjoyed listening to somethin new, even if I couldn't sing along. With only one listen, the album falls somewhere between 3 and 4 stars, but I did like it enough that I'd be willing to have a second listen.

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4

A lot of the music I really love is influenced by this style of music. I can hear early Vampire Weekend in this down to the tone of the guitar and the lines played (I think the mixolydian mode is used quite a bit in both). Overall, I found this album to be enjoyable and accessible and it helped me to connect Afrobeat as played by western musicians with how it’s played by Africans. Both forms are similar and involve borrowing from the traditions of the other.

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4

Really solid

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3

3

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3

This is pretty catchy stuff, lot of easygoing vibes, I don't understand enough French to know what's being said but I can't imagine it's that super-serious "African man you don't know your identity!" crap like Femi Kuti. I guess it's just good time music? I can picture people getting drunk and partying/dancing to this in the Congo. 3/5

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3

Groovy

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3

It's always a pleasant surprise when you discover something relatively fresh where you expected something bland. A consistently entertaining album from French-speaking Africa. Perhaps a bit too mid-tempo across the entire runtime.

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3

Nice but quite samey. Probably won't listen again.

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3

African pop music from the early 90s.

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3

It wasn’t bad!

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3

papa afrika

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3

Not bad, just not really my forte.

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3

3 stars

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3

Sounded like the background music in a Portuguese restaurant

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3

I think I listened to the right album? Or at least its closest equivalent on Apple Music. This is really enjoyable music! Not sure why this one was picked, but I'm always happy to see something other than rock or new wave show up. I couldn't tell you if this is groundbreaking or influential, but it's a very pleasant listening experience. Lots of great grooves that make me want to dance. Favorite tracks: Papa bonheur, Porte monnaie, Dit jeannot. Album art: Released in the early '90s, but looks incredibly '80s. Good, colors, good font. Koffi's fit is astonishing. 3.5/5

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3

I liked it because it's cool to know new artists that I never knew, but the album itself is so monochromatic. Good songs to dance to, maybe some important message that I don't understand, but just a good album.

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3

When I think of African music this is what I imagine. The music Paul Simon and Vampire Weekend obviously ripped off. BT: Papa Bonheur, Qui Cherche Trouve, Port-Monnaie

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3

Enjoyed this album…….easy listening

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3

Не, этнический чил я уважаю. Но латинский как-то пока больше заходит, нигерсий на его фоне теряется. Не особо интересно, порой надоедает однообразностью, хотя прогнал только пару раз. В целом, будь менее навязчивым, вполне себе видел бы как ост Цивилизации, возглавляешь нацию Зулулэнд, берёшь под контроль Шаку, и вот как в современность попадаешь, эта шляпа играет. В общем, имеет право на существование, на возвращаться, вероятно, не стану.

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3

Eh, I can appreciate it for being different. Doesn't blow my mind or anything, also it's not the best example of this genre

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3

New one to me (both the album and the artist). I enjoyed this one. Hard not to bob the head or tap the foot along to the whole album. I happen to really enjoy listening to the French language, spoken or sung, even though I can't speak it, so that added a sweet layer to the music for me. Great music.

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3

upbeat tropical, the music is good lyrics are in a language I don't understand. Not really my jam.

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3

Not bad, but doesn't sound special to me. Dude's voice is damn great.

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3

I don’t know enough about genre to know how influential or important this genre is. It’s not really my type of vibe personally - but it’s kinda funky I guess. :)

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3

Good stuff

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3

Didn’t know anything about Congolese music before listening. Can’t understand the language. Yet, I found the music’s joyous, uplifting rhythms and soothing vocals enjoyable!

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3

Étnica. Melódica.

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3

I didn’t give this much of listen due to time. I like the more rhythmic, call and response sections with guitar, less so the poppy pieces, where it sounds like he borrowed George Michaels’ electric piano player. I’ve probably listened with regularity to only about a dozen African artists. they would get higher score than Koffi.

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3

Major key jams with a nice mellow vibe. Quite same-ish after a few songs.

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3

Good tunes

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3

Festive, not my usual. I appreciated hearing it but don't think I'd come back to it

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3

French, early 90s sound.

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3

42. Haut de gamme / Koweït, rive gauche - Koffi Olomide 9 tracks. It's African Salsa if such a thing exists, but it's toe-tappingly catchy & decent. I wouldn't choose to listen to it, but I also wouldn't turn it off. 3/5

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3

Disco raro e interesante. No sé si lo termine de escuchar pero voy a escucharlo de vez en cuando.

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3

Great Jams

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3

Definitely out of left field. Not my type of music but not terrible.

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3

Listening to this my first thought was, "Ah, now I see where Paul Simon stole the music for Graceland!" But I see that this album was actually recorded quite a few years after Graceland. I guess that's just the style. I enjoyed the music, especially the more upbeat numbers. 3 stars.

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3

-Background of “Papa bonheur” sounds like the Bloons TD Music -Ok the whole album is just like reggae/dance-esque music in French lol -The bridge of “Conte de fées” actually picks up to be pretty groovy with the high pitched whatever grooving along -Very end of “Dit Jeannot” got kinda cool -The whole album is just like reggae/dance-esque music in French lol

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3

I don't even know who you are. Jaunty album doe

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3

Kinda jovial music but ehhh.... sounds super cheesy. Does get a slightly better rating since it's from Africa and that is a nice change. 2.5/5

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3

Bluesy, sleazy, and fun. Jesus…Chicago, Waitin for the Bus, LaGrange all classics. This set them up for a lifetime of great boogie.

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3

Very womad. Benign background music.

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3

Never heard of this chap before but he's been making recordings since 1983 and I counted 29 albums on wikipedia. The music on Haut De Gamme is pleasant and unassuming, the polyrhythmic grooves provide an upbeat platform for Olomide to sing over. Meanwhile there is usually some exotic sounding instrument playing a cheery motif as a counter melody. As with a lot of what is classified "world music" it's sung in the local dialect, meaning you have no idea what the songs are about, so you concentrate on the mood of the music, which is joyous and feels a little bit spiritual. The vibe is relaxed and lacking bite so it does occasionally veer into lounge territory. Of course, whether that's good or bad depends on the listener. On the whole it is quite an enjoyable lightweight album and I relish the thought of seeing/hearing this performed in a live setting at an outdoor festival (with a beer or three) in the middle of summer instead of a cold winter's day in February (with a cuppa tea)! Terrible cover art mind.

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3

Sounds like Ariel and Sebastian jammin it out.

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3

The enjoyment of music is tied to when you listen to it, where you listen to it and who you listen to it with. I listened to this on a Kenyan beach while sipping cocktails. That's the setting that this album is made for. I very much doubt I would have enjoyed it quite as much if I was listening to it on a wet Thursday in a Bolton Nandos.

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3

It sounds like we're in Nandos...apparently.

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3

Best Song: Qui cherche trouve. Slow groovy dance rhythm yeah. Worst Song: Dit Jeannot. A bit too far out in space, instrumentally. Overall: Optimistic toe-tapping music that does nothing to grab your attention, for better or worse. Beautiful mess of an album cover though.

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3

Felt like being on holiday

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3

Interesting, enjoyed the music, good Afro beat and upbeat

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3

Pretty good danceable African music.

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3

A bit like a Congolese Lionel Richie (in music vibe only - I can't imagine Lionel karate kicking a backing dancer). 2.5/5

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3

I had to look this guy up on Wikipedia as I'd not heard of him. I can see that he's a bit of a cad from the antics listed on his page, but his music has a lightness of touch that makes it really pleasant listening

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3

Interesante y agradable

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3

jaunty! (reads bio) oh no

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3

Jaunty music from a dubious man who is probably available as a handyman at a price you can afford!

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3

Mostly enjoyable afrobeat. At least the parts where they've managed to keep the keyboardist away from E. PIANO 1 on his DX7.

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3

Love the mix of guitar and FM synths. Could see myself getting into this more.

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3

This is fine but I dont really have enough reference points to evaluate it in any fair way.

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3

Nice rhythms but without being able to understand the words much of this sounds the same to me.

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3

Admittedly I don’t speak French, but nothing sets this album apart from others in the genre

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3

I mean it's nice and all, but it just makes me think of background music in some gift shop.

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3

At first, I went into this record genuinely curious and was left feeling that this was mostly okay. Sounds samey at points but don't discard the craft that went into this album; the bright sounds that come out of this are worth the listen. Favorites: Papa Bonheur, Désespoir, Koweït, Rive Gauche.

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3

I like the music a lot. However, i don’t really like the vocal style. Feels like island music so it would be something good to listen to while sitting near the ocean while having a Mai Thai

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3

Pleasant

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3

Like Graceland without Paul Simon.

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3

Pretty sweet , nothing amazing.very holiday buzz off it

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3

A pleasant listen. Soukous always makes me think of my college days, because the local college radio station played a lot of it. This is such joyful music, you can't help but be in a good mood listening to it. A little repetitive from song to song, but still pretty fun. Fave Songs: Papa bonheur, Qui cherche trouve; Desepoir; Obrigado, Conte de fees

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3

People giving this a 1 while criticizing the artist's past transgressions, at the same time handing out 5s to albums with Lennon, Paige, Bowie or James Brown, I see you.... If we manage to separate the art from the artist, we get a lively, upbeat, infectious, dance-able record that serves as the de facto representative of soukous music on the list. I don't know enough about the genre to judge weather it serves as a fair representation, but I do know that Congolese music as a whole is very much worth in depth exploration.

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2

I have no idea what is going on.

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2

Sarmadı

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2

Maybe I'm just super uncultured but I'd never heard of Soukus music (I even spelled it wrong just there). It's fine, seems like a lot of fun to dance to, but holy hell an hour of this was a lot. Especially for something so seemingly formulaic. Favorite track: "Papa bonheur"

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2

Not my jam, but an interesting listen

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2

It feels like vacation!

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2

Naaaaaah

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2

Super chill listen. Not something id reach for all the time, but i wouldn't turn it off if I was like at a dinner party with my in laws or my parents, and we were having like some charcuterie

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2

Good varied instrumentation and voice leading, but French Tropicana is just not my thing.

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2

Okay, not really a style I am into. Was on in the background and I didn't hate it.

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2

Totally different to what I would listen to normally so that was cool but didn't hold my interest at all

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2

Realised very quickly it was not for me

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2

Meh

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2

Pussa pussy guy

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2

Dope

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2

Easy breezy. Not my thing but fine. Boy, you really realize just how insanely long most albums are doing this experiment, don’t you?

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2

I could not get into this one. It just doesn't feel like anything special to me: background music, and nothing more

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2

A vibe

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2

This guy sounds like he's having a ripe old time of it, but the music got quite boring, quite quickly. I bet it's great to dance to, but I'm listening to this whilst I work. Any road, I can't dance. A quick look at this guy's Wikipedia page and, wow, he seems like a real piece of shit.

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2

Weird but well done

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2

Fine, some songs were very good, but overall forgettable outside of those

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2

It’s fun, it’s fresh, it’s different & its French!...I think? Anyhoo, I would’ve never listened to this album in any other instance than for this review so that in itself is a plus for broadening my mind. I am glad I listened to these European pop songs which induce a feel good vibe with their Caribbean calypso reggae flavour. Would I want to purchase this album or choose it out of line up to play again though?...probably not. 2 Stars!

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2

Fun vibes, but it is so 90’s it hurts, and the songs overstay their welcome every time.

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2

não é meu estilo de música, mas não é ruim

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2

Nice but sort of repetitive

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2

Not my kind of music.

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2

It is to slow to be pop and to fast for slow music, so “not quite my tempo”. Don’t like the french 2.5/5

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2

Det här var då inte något jag hade snubblat över i vanliga fall. Genren "soukous", är kongolesisk dansmusik. Jag fick scrolla igenom Koffi Olomides gigantiska diskografi (35 album, varav 30 egna, på 36 år) innan jag hittade denna, med vad jag antar är Koffi själv, iklädd någon sorts formel-1-jacka (???) osäkert pekandes mot mig på omslaget. Vill inte ge efter för klyschan som säger att all afrikansk musik måste beskrivas med "rytmisk", eller liknande adjektiv. Men, visst, det svänger väl ganska bra ibland. Och Koffi Olomides röst kan beröra en vid några få tillfällen, som t.ex. i slutet av Koweït, Rive Gauche. Det låter sorgligt när han pressar ur sig sina "Lewu lewu lewu", men jag vet inte vad något betyder i detta album. Jag tog mig igenom den knappa timmen utan att någonting gjort något större avtryck, tyvärr. Bästa låt: Koweït, Rive Gauche, då det enda jag minns direkt efter lyssningen är "Lewu lewu lewu"

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2

2-3 star, can’t knock it but it’s not going to be something I’ll revisit, but still enjoyed aspects

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2

Boring and repetitive. Same tune throughout the album. Tries too hard to be poppy. But it's a series of groovy dance tracks, and I'd be willing to hear a track every once and a while. Just not the whole album at once.

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2

It was the same song 9 times. Giving it a 2 rather than a 1 because at least it was nice background music.

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2

This was a weird album. I liked Koffi's voice and the positive vibe of the music but it wasn't very interesting. One track in particular (Elixer) was 5 minutes of the the exact same riff and you can tell that they didn't even know how to end it because it just faded out. The album also suffered from some bad production. Mainly a little two much high end especially on the fake drums. Or maybe they were just over-produced real drums that sounded fake. Either way, not good. Some of the harmonies were nice, especially on the last 2 tracks but overall not an album or artist I would listen to again.

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2

I tried but just couldn't get into it. I love lyrics, it's part of my listening experience and my french is so out of practice. But unlike opera (or a good Rammstein tune), vocals didn't just fade into the background or blend in with the music. And I think that's because the music was also very cheesy; like Super Mario meets all inclusive Caribbean resort.

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2

Very pleasant African pop that makes you wanna shake your booty. Nice rhythms and good vocals. But I would reach for some Miriam & Amadou or Fela Kuti before this

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2

Ilk iki sarkiyi dinledim sadece, gercekten must miydi bu album

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2

Gut gemacht, auch ganz ideenreich, aber irgendwie nichtssagend. Mir will sich dazu keine richtige Meinung bilden. Auf ein 2. Mal habe ich keine Lust.

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2

Average beach vibes

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2

I don't know the name of this genre of W African music. This sounds like a 90s generic version of its own genre. C

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2

For years I'd wondered why The Kinks were so lauded, but it turns out this is it. Their legacy echoes through the 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond. The album itself paints a picture of Britain at a particular point in time, where things didn't feel so great, to the point where a young hopeful Brit might uproot their entire life and move to the other side of the world, in search of a better existence. Arthur is about what's left behind and also the things that you can't ever leave behind. Well crafted pop, including the scorching opening track "Victoria".

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2

Fijn apart album met onbekende muziekstijl, maar zou het niet nogmaals aanzetten

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2

Its allright 2/5

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2

I didn’t like it as much as I thought I wouldn’t. I heard an african album once and they aren't all like this one. (4/10) FT: Désespoir

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2

Bonus point for best album cover

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2

Was hard to finish, very Afro-French inspired, just not my speed

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2

Wow, l'œuvre d'art dit tout! J'ai d'abord aimé les rythmes pop, puis je me suis ennuyé.

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2

Just found myself switching off. Maybe live it was a set of great tunes to dance to sorry Koffi.

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2

Cool that this album is on this list but not much of a fan at all. Mostly boring 90s African music,

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2

great. i just love having some bloke whisper sweet nothings into my ear in french. the bits that sound like a nandos backing track were fun for a bit, but i hated the bits where he was doing western ballad style noncey R'n'B stuff. i retract my previous comment from songhoy blues, i am not a world music guy.

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2

Reminded me of when I had XM and they'd do a reggae/dance channel in the summers. Or dance lessons in college. Fine as a novelty, but very same-y over an hour.

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2

It felt kinda bland tbh

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2

Loverman soukous, it has its uses.

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2

keyboards are heavy on the 80s overproduction

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2

Música de Congo, admito que por mi propia iniciativa no la habría escuchado. En algunas partes parece canciones que hubiera compuesto Juan Luis Guerra (escuchar Desespoir).

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2

No thanks

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2

the non standard "world" music albums are always cool i guess kind of albums, as in its interesting to listen to but id probably never listen to it again.

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2

Not the sort of music I'd ever find myself going back to. It was fine though

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2

I'm not wild about most foreign language music. If I was sitting at a coffee place in South Africa, I'd be game for hearing this music. Sitting in an office in MN? Not so much...

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2

Couldn’t vibe with this

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1

What?

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1

Didn't grab me.

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1

Nope. Just nope.

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1

2.5

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1

Would give it zero if I could.

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1

Not for me. Very different from what I'm used to. Too poppy for my taste

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1

ой бля, да идите нахуй, это даже иронично воспринимать не получается. кто вообще способен это слушать, я хз, самая раздражающая музыка на свете. доставил только момент с 50:38 по 51:15 (я хз, какая это песня), где вокалист превращается в Пьера Вудмана и орёт «ААААААА», «СОСИИИ», «СУКА, СУКА, ПУТА, ПУТА»

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1

Dance music straight out of Africa! More specifically, it's French Soukous music from the Congo. Not my type of music at all, but it wasn't bad.

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1

muhtesem

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1

0 stars. Not my genre not at all.

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1

In the interest of saying something nice if I'm going to say anything at all - it's the best French-language Congolese dance album I've ever heard.

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1

p681. 1992. 1 star Well, the cheesy synths and arrangements haven't aged well on a lot of the tracks. Nothing much to like here. This was the first album on the list that I struggled to listen to all the way through. Not my thing at all.

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1

I can see why this is on the list, big rhumba album and I do like a lot of the sounds, but looked into the guy and he's a convicted child rapist, so fuck 'im.

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1

Irirlevant. From the wikipedia page: 'In 2019, He was found guilty by a French court of statutory rape of one of his former dancers when she was 15 years old.[8] He was handed a two-year suspended jail sentence in absentia, as he did not attend court in France'. It would be zero stars.

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1

Not my cup of tea

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