When a band becomes a movement, you can forgive the occasional five-year recording lapse. So it is with Brooklyn-based Antibalas, the 11-member Afrobeat orchestra that almost single-handedly rekindled popular interest in Afrobeat and its progenitor, the late Fela Kuti.
In the half-decade since 2007's Security, several members of Antibalas were deeply involved in Fela!, the Tony Award-winning musical on the life of their forebear, "the James Brown of Nigeria." Getting inside Fela's head has put him deeper inside theirs, as Antibalas' eponymous fifth is the most purely Afrobeat of the bunch: deeply political (lead single Dirty Money is a 99 percent rally cry), hugely rhythmic (Ari Degbe has enough percussive gusto to spark a revolution), and massively soulful (Him Belly No Go Sweet nods to another late titan, Bob Marley). Given results this kinetic, it was worth the wait. 'Ö'Ö'Ö1/2
-- Brian Howard, The Philadelphia Inquirer