Tiken Jah Fakoly - Acoustic

Tiken Jah Fakoley
The power of fighting words

Nothing makes an impact like simple words do. Always straight to the point, but with elegance and staying true to the African identity: such are the guiding principles of "Acoustic" the sixteenth album by Tiken Jah Fakoly. 

Ever loyal to his Pan-African mindset underpinned by justice and speaking the truth about historical facts, Ivory Coast’s most celebrated reggae artist who wrote 'Plus rien de m’étonne' back in 2004, returns here with a kora-laden acoustic version with French Reggae sensation Naâman.

On Acoustic, Tiken Jah’s voice is sublimated like never before, whether solo or enhanced and enriched in choruses. 

The mostly unplugged album, free of synthetic add-ons, focuses on the organic essence, the poetry and the many journeymen supporting Tiken’s voice along the way, to form a comforting cocoon in preparation for the battles ahead. The short spoken interludes, part of the web documentary Tiken Jah, descendant de Fakoly - produced by Pan African Music - remind us of Tiken’s life challenges and battles.

The introduction of African elements became a prerequisite from as early as Coup de gueule in 2004, produced by Bob Marley keyboardist Tyrone Downie. «We’ll never outdo Jamaica for its reggae, but we also know Jamaicans made that West Indian sound with Africa in the mix». This time, the tables needed to be turned, by pouring some of the Dark Continent’s flavour into the West Indian sound. This brings us to Acoustic, where the African flow, might and rhythms wonderfully fill up the void left by the absent brass sections.

Coming armed and prepared does not exclude charm. Acoustic switches everything up, in doing so highlighting two virtues: the power of fighting words and the pleasure of sticking to the Mandingo music foundations, so supple, so gripping, and ultimately so reggae in spirit.

(Original version by Véronique Mortaigne)

We like to hear from you