Warm Heart Of Africa - The Very Best

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Though Radioclit seems to draw production ideas from the already existent ether--largely the African-Western pop alliances of the ’80s--that does nothing to take away from this fascinating and happy moment captured on record.
  2. It's a true global-pop album, and a hopeful template for things to come.
  3. Malawi’s Esau Mwamwaya, however, is proof that even the West’s slickest and sickliest can be used well by inventive minds.
  4. When you consider the current crop of supposedly afrobeat influenced indie rock, Warm Heart Of Africa is, if you’ll excuse the pun, The Very Best.
  5. 80
    Cameos by Vampire Wekend's Ezra Keonig and Tamil rapper M.I.A. add to a joyous but knowing smorgasbord that will play equally well in a Lilongwe disco or Shoreditch/Brooklyn trend hole. [Oct 2009, p.107]
  6. 80
    Warm Heart Of Africa works best when Radioclit subtly build on the rhythms of Mwamwaya's native kwassa kwassa. [Oct 2009, p.119]
  7. Naming a band The Very Best may seem like posturing, but on the evidence of Warm Heart Of Africa they're on to something.
  8. The live clips of the Very Best on YouTube suggest an almost chaotic stage presence, and this very easy-on-the-ear debut may inspire many imitators.
  9. It’s all a part of the open exchange in the Afropop community that gives The Very Best their lush and addictive sound.
  10. There may be a language barrier to be dealt with here, but the feelings of the songs here transcend all walls, real or perceived.
  11. Instead of approximating a hodgepodge of the 21st century's musical memes, this debut LP takes on a life of its own, authenticity snobs be damned. [Fall 2009, p.68]
  12. 70
    We're given a deeper record than some may've anticipated -- sonically, for sure--but more so The Very Best's debut stands up higher as document of seamless (and shameless) cultural convergence.
  13. Ultimately, this set proves that the debut was no fluke, and this genre-bending meld of street traditions both East and West is capable of appealing to anyone with blood instead of sawdust in her/his veins.
  14. The woozy slow-jam "Julia," among other tracks, proves the group's polyglot street jams are plenty catchy unassisted.
  15. 70
    The trio’s official debut further expands their musical palette to include triumphant synth rock (“Chalo”) and woozy G-funk (“Julia”).
  16. While I never needed to hear the T-Pain Auto-Tune vocal effect in Chichewa, the beats and hooks on this collaboration between Malawian singer Esau Mwamwaya and London-based DJ/producer duo Radioclit are inventive enough to forgive the occasional overindulgence.
  17. It's upbeat and inspiring almost to a fault--the lilting, diamond-soul yelp of Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig holds its own on the Upper West Side Soweto of the title track--which also makes Warm Heart feel like some sort of Disney tourist attraction--enjoyable but not yet revelatory.
  18. The multi-culturally correct Warm Heart Of Africa more than lives up to its title, Nsokoto and infectious Kamphopo being worth a place on anyone's shuffle. [Oct 2009, p.118]
  19. Lack of body heat and dynamics aside, the ideas on Warm Heart of Africa are pretty strong, perhaps awaiting ironically fairer treatments in the hands of future remixers.

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