June 10, 2020
#Music | Sauti Sol, Taking You to an Expressive Ride on the “The Midnight Train”

Kenya’s afro pop crew Sauti Sol opened an invitation to an expressive ride on their 2020 album, released on June 5 under Universal Music. The album’s title accurately refers to the group’s mindset after reaching multiple milestones, and still going strong towards an ultimate goal in the music industry, as a train moving steadily to its destination.

Love is definitely in the air on this album, through tracks like “Feel My Love”, a gloomy afro pop & rock reach, not a distinctive imprint, but it carries well the Swahili cries performed by Savara, as he deplores broken communication in love. The deep Kizomba accent on “My Everything” revives sweet passion as per the undeniable talent of Congolese producer Kaysha, who has been behind some of the best songs of the same genre for 2 decades. But the sweetest surprise here is the soulful voice of India Ari, who completes this black love anthem.

“Sober” is the acoustic introspection we all need at some point in order to be better, “I will put my life in order/No longer be a victim of the devil on my shoulder/Lord knows I've been lost for way too long/I'm getting older”. We can’t help but appreciate the relevance of the song when it comes to the injustices the world is facing today. It seems as if we all need to sober up and be kinder to one another before it is too late.

On 2 singles, they explore the current generational issues in 2 opposite fashions. While the Sauti boys lament over the groovy cadence of “Suzanna” about the extravagance of the prominent sugar baby sub-culture, on “Insecure” they acknowledge the feeling of helplessness and not being enough. Because of societal pressure, on young African girls in this instance, some buy into misleading microwave lifestyles while others feel sidelined for not being part of the trends. However, both struggle with identifying who they really are amidst the exigencies of our society.
“Nenda Lote” seems to be an ode to the old days with makossa-like undertones. As for “Wake Up” featuring Mortimer, it is a smooth breeze of orchestral afro beat. When it comes to the face of the entire album “Midnight Train”, it is a perfect hybrid of latin vibes, a choir touch, flawless woodwind breaks along with the intensity of the bridge.

The best treat on the “Midnight Train” menu is probably “Rhumba Panjani”, a Rumba-gone-hip hop dish in celebration of what’s best known as Congolese Rhumba, with unexpected Horn sections performed by the Nairobi Horns Project. The song brought together the members of their label Sol Generation Records.

On the last stop of Sauti Sol’s “Midnight Train” is “Disco Matanga” a collaboration with Sho Madjozi and Black Motion. With “Yambakhana” as an alternative title, the song sees Bien-Aimé sing in Luhya while Sho Madjozi is the one who lends some Swahili bars. “Disco Matanga” is one of the soundtracks of the first original African Netflix series, Queen Sono.

New album "Midnight Train"
Stream/Download Album now: https://SautiSol.lnk.to/MidnightTrain

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