Femi Kuti, Africa Shrine

Jess Harvell

By Jess Harvell

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Fela’s son keeps it funky.

Though he continued recording up through the early '90s, few of Fela's records after the early '80s can really touch his classic material; he died in 1997 from complications due to AIDS. By then, his son Femi had already been leading his own Afrobeat band for almost a decade, and Africa Shrine is a fine and funky example of 21st-century Afrobeat (which, it must be said, doesn't sound much different from the 20th-century kind). While he lacks his father's immense presence — no crime, really, just ask Jakob Dylan — Femi's intimate vantage point gave him a deep understanding of what makes the best Afrobeat work.