Cotonou Club - Orchestre Poly-Rythmo
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Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The Benin group who first gained fame in the 1970s releases its first studio album in more than 20 years.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Apr 26, 2011
    89
    Cotonou Club is first and foremost a tribute to that place and time – a period partially documented on 2009 Analog Africa compilation Legends of Benin. The 11-piece Orchestre reprises some of its best material, most notably the rebel soul of "Von Vo Nono" and standout "Gbeti Madjro," the latter featuring Angélique Kidjo, and both for the better.
  2. Apr 6, 2011
    80
    Can a band that has been as good as defunct since the 1980s truly recapture their spark? The answer appears to be yes. [Apr 2011, p.98]
  3. Apr 12, 2011
    80
    The percussion nips confidently at the brass in "Oce", the vocal to-and-fro in "Pardon" doesn't need long notes to make it interesting, and the tunes are still dense and wonderful, the rhythmic voudoun attributes, the afrofunk saxophones, the gotcha of the Cuban piano in "Koumi Dede": everything, everything.
  4. Apr 6, 2011
    70
    The music is still driven by the same conceptual forces, instrumentation and voodoo tradition that Orchestre Poly-Rythmo has always been known for. Contonou Club is not only a symbol of the group's reunion; it marks the continuation and growth of a West African musical revolution.
  5. Apr 15, 2011
    70
    The grooves lean toward salsa in "Koumi Dede" and Afrobeat in "C'est Moi ou C'est Lui," but Orchestre Poly-Rythmo ratchets up the rhythms. Its singers work hard too.
  6. Apr 6, 2011
    60
    It's a cheerful, stirring and perhaps deliberately unfocused set, but they sound even better live.
  7. Apr 28, 2011
    60
    Cotonou Club backs up the feeling I got when I saw the group on their recent UK tour, namely that, while they're still very funky, they aren't currently laying the voodoo down like they did on those magic 70s discs.

See all 10 Critic Reviews