Although his rich and fluid tenor voice remains fabulous, and he continues to crank out the hits, it has been some time since Koffi Olomide has done any truly interesting work from an artistic standpoint – far too long, in fact.
I knew him a bit in the 1990s, when he was still evolving and taking risks, and I listen to his recent stuff in pain because it has become so generic, so repetitive, as he recycles his riffs and lives on his laurels.
That’s not what this post is meant to be about, though. Rather, I want to point fans of Congolese rhumba to what may be his greatest work, this obscure but still available disk, which is a melodic triumph of the first order. One listens and hears a young talent one can easily imagine becoming a sort of Sinatra of Central Africa, so rich is his voice, so sure is his phrasing and timing. The music itself is wonderful, too, not having yet devolved into the formulaic party patterns from his bands that we are so familiar with today.
A must for any fan or collector: