Jean-Pierre Simons – Sentimentally…To Africa (CD)

The title track to “Sentimentally…To Africa” begins off this album, and one is immediately hit with a rich collage of artists as storied as UB40 and Paul Simon. Simons himself is more eclectic than either act, marrying together African with Caribbean rhythms, while tying the resulting music with pop sensibilities that will ensure that fans of current music will find something that they can love on “Sentimentally…To Africa”. “Take My Love” starts out with Simons’ vocals taking an authoritative place at the front of the track; the rapidly-shifting nature of the track ensures that listeners will be unsure where exactly Simons is set to go.

“Sentimentally…To Africa” is a disc that, despite only having 13 tracks, goes to hundreds of different time frames, interacts with countless styles and genres, and with each track, informs listeners about the unique type of music that is Simons’ trademark. “Un Amour Impossible” has a hot set of horns that cut in at all the right time, interjecting a drive to a track that would otherwise seem perfectly content in its meandering nature. “Candlelight” shares the same chill, calm sound as the early reaches of “Un Amour Impossible”, building further the story previously laid out by the preceding tracks on “Sentimentally…To Africa” . Listeners need not speak French to get a good idea about what Simons wants them to take from a track; the rich vocals are varied enough to imbue a narrative upon anyone lucky enough to listen in.

“Sentimentally…To Africa” ends with “Mes Adieux”, a slow, emotive missive to all of Simons listeners. The instrumentations, despite taking a very light touch on the track, nonetheless come up with a dense and substantive effort that joins together with Simons’ vocals to make something truly special. With so many different things occurring during the 13 cuts of “Sentimentally…To Africa” , listeners should really give the disc a few listeners before getting the entirety of what Simons has laid down here. What listeners will understand even after listening to one track, however, is that Simons is one of the best performers in any genre that he decides to pick up.

Top Tracks: Une Place Au Soleil, Aime-moi

Rating: 8.6/10

Jean-Pierre Simons – Sentimentally…To Africa / 2009 Self / 13 Tracks / http://www.jeanpierresimons.com

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