422. Juluka – “Ya Vuka Inkunzi”

This is the second album I have reviewed from South African stalwart Johnny Clegg.

While Savuka were Clegg’s band through much of the late 80s and early 90s, this 1997 release saw him reform an old act one last time. Being super hip and groovy, we own the South African CD with the Zulu name, rather than rest-of-world version called ‘Crocodile Love’.

I find this incarnation of Clegg much more exciting and innovative than in his Savuka guise.  The music is much more danceable and less overtly poppy and disposable.

I find it more listenable on the tracks where he and Sipho Mchunu sing in Zulu than the English language material.  The latter are a little too ambitiously poetic for my liking, especially as said poetry tends to be very tie-dyed (think Grateful Dead meets Lion King vibe). This  pushes Clegg dangerously close to Sting territory.

This CD would work as a nice companion piece to Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’ album, especially Journey’s End which features a startlingly similar accordian opening.

I couldn’t find a decent video of any tune on the album, so here’s Clegg and Co with a famous bloke (and an awful jacket):

File under: Don’t judge a man by his jacket

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