MTMTMK - The Very Best
MTMTMK Image
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second album from the duo of African-born singer Esau Mwamwaya and British producer Radioclit features guest appearances by Baaba Maal, DJ Mo-Laudi, and K'naan.
  • Record Label: Cooperative
  • Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, International, African Traditions, Afro-Pop, Afro-beat
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Jul 12, 2012
    100
    As with Graceland, it's not scared to be too pop... plus the lyrics are of a sounder political hue than anything Simon essayed.
  2. Jul 17, 2012
    88
    MTMTMK is infinitely more fascinating when it's pushing the envelope, mixing weirdness and darkness into the radiant multi-culti stew.
  3. On record, this is a joyous burst of blissed-out world pop.
  4. Jul 16, 2012
    70
    They haven't lost their uplifting positivity or their restlessly inventive production spirit--they just seem to be missing a bit of that Warm Heart.
  5. Jul 18, 2012
    70
    It dabbles in the kind of commercial electropop that's coming up all over the continent--but it costs the band some of its earlier warmth and subtlety.
  6. Aug 22, 2012
    65
    While the album isn't as initially thrilling as their debut, it's a grower that handily avoids the sophomore slump via its sheer soulful elan. [Aug/Sep 2012, p.121]
  7. Jul 11, 2012
    40
    Decidedly un-fun... Stuffed with manufactured Euro-pop, stale preset beats, Auto-Tuned vocals, and other assorted fallbacks, the album lacks both the harmonic precision and jubilant, vista-inspired mood that defined Mwamwaya's modern rendition of Malawi music on Warm Heart of Africa.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Aug 14, 2012
    7
    I was immediately drawn into The Very Best when I heard their single featuring Vampire Weekend's frontman Ezra Koenig as he provided the perfect context to understand the music through, an African band borrowing ideas from American indie instead of the other way around. The music was melodic but focused much more on the beat than indie typically did, making for an extremely fun listen.

    This album is good too, and I recommend listening to it, but it largely dropped the carefree melodies that its predecessor had in favor of adopting a much more hip-hop centric production. The fun is still there, and it's still a solid album, but it lacks the sunny and playful atmosphere that propelled "Warm Heart of Africa" to its highest highs.
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