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CD Review: Various Artists' 'Mozambique'

The compilation of musicians from Mozambique is a great release that showcases various musical styles that are both contemporary and infectious. The pop connotations are evident, but there is also a good degree of blues, soukous, zouk, and Afro-pop arrangements and influences. Over a dozen fresh artists contribute to this new release funded by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA). You will hear Million Isaac Junior, Marcelino Banda Mpombeza, Alfredo, Harry Potter (yes, a band), Minesterio Evanjelico De Mbonje, Chaisoni Bicaus Bandeira, Atija, and many others. The music incorporates Congolese rhythms, Portuguese influences, and Mozambique melodies that are very vibrant and memorable. Seventeen different tracks represent a hearty mix of easy listening and toe-tapping responses. Nothing is a miss here. ~ Matthew Forss