Femi Kuti

Day by Day (Mercer Street)

Phases & Stages

Femi Kuti

Day by Day (Mercer Street)

"Do you know Fela Anikulapo Kuti?" asks his son at the end of "Do You Know" from Day by Day. The question's rhetorical; any fan of Femi Kuti most likely basks in the colossal shadow cast by his pioneering Afrobeat father. Fair or not, Femi will never escape that shadow, but he goes a long way toward establishing his own legacy on his first studio album in seven years. Gone are the collaborations with hip-hop stars that gave 2001's Fight to Win a faintly forced feeling; welcome are elaborate jazz arrangements anchored by pounding polyrhythms. Kuti's 17-member Positive Force has never sounded better, delicately building tension on "They Will Run" and unleashing an unstoppable funk groove on "Tension Grip Africa." The album lacks the gut-punch intensity of brother Seun Kuti's recent debut, and the lyrics occasionally border on the trite, but Femi certainly lives up to the family name.

***

READ MORE
More Femi Kuti
Afrodisiac
Afrodisiac
Femi Kuti Carries On His Father's Legacy

David Lynch, April 27, 2001

Chief Priest of the Shrine
Chief Priest of the Shrine
Nigerian Soul Prophet, Fela Kuti

David Lynch, July 14, 2000

More Music Reviews
Levitating Platters
Boris with Merzbow
Gensho (Record Review)

Michael Toland, April 29, 2016

SXSW Record Reviews
Buyepongo
Todo Mundo (Record Review)

Thomas Fawcett, March 18, 2016

More by Thomas Fawcett
Sun Ra Commander Marshall Allen
Sun Ra Commander Marshall Allen
Intergalactic RAS Day headliners tap universal vibrations

Aug. 24, 2016

Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Femi Kuti

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)