Fela Kuti, Shuffering and Shmiling

Jess Harvell

By Jess Harvell

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Shuffering And Shmiling

Fela Kuti
Fela and friends get spare, take on religion.

An attack on corrupt religions, "Shuffering and Shmiling" opens with a groove that shows Africa 70 at its most minimalist and percolating, with a needling, almost highlife guitar that stings and stabs as Fela rains contempt on "goddamn church[es]" and "goddamn mosque[s]." As the song builds, he savages the idea of living through hell to get to heaven, as his female chorus replies, "Amen!" "Shuffering and Shmiling" proves that Fela was unafraid to stick his finger in the eye of even the most sacred subjects.