Funky, jazzy, infectious beats fill Femi Kuti's new album, No Place for My Dream, just as they did his 2010 Grammy-winning Africa for Africa — and have on every release since he began recording in 1987. Now 50, the charismatic Nigerian singer and son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela returns to his roots in songs as political and powerful as those on his famed Shoki Shoki from 1998. But as enthralling as his music can be on recordings, hearing him in concert with his electrifying band, the Positive Force, is a whole other experience. He sweeps crowds up in his intense and emotional songs, something Boston audiences will have a chance to experience when he and his ensemble perform at the Paradise Rock Club next week.
Passionately committed to exposing the world's inequities, Kuti composes lyrics that call for change in every aspect of contemporary life. In "The World Is Changing," he writes, "More people are suffering and are very poor/A suffering they can't take anymore." And he expresses the frustration of the young who can find no work in the poignantly titled "No Place for My Dream."
"My father talked for the people, and so do I," he said recently on a call from Nigeria. "I would never compromise on fighting for just causes. It's exciting that generation after generation rediscover Afrobeat and want to be part of it."
VALERIE GLADSTONE » VGLADSTONE@GMAIL.COM
FEMI KUTI & THE POSITIVE FORCE + UHURU AFRIKA::Paradise Rock Club, 967 Comm Ave, Boston :: January 23 @ 7 pm :: 18+ :: $25 :: 617.562.8800 or thedise.com
: Music Features
, World Music, Femi Kuti, afrobeat