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Faada Freddy's epic vocal exercise and a reconstituted album by Neil Young

Faada Freddy, Golden Cages (ThinkZik).

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Faada Freddy's epic vocal exercise and a reconstituted album by Neil Young

Faada Freddy, Golden Cages (ThinkZik)

We began to notice this superb singer within the Senegalese hip hop collective Daara J in the 1990s. Charismatic as hell, Faada Freddy delivered the most soulful aspect of the group's music. Between African vibrations and American inflections, the man has a breathtaking tone. Nine years after Gospel Journey, his first landmark album, this rare musician is making a rather resounding return with Golden Cages. Lenny Kravitz is one of his biggest admirers, but everyone who has had the chance to attend one of his concerts is.

Golden Cages takes up the principle of Gospel Journey, this time with original songs: Faada Freddy performs all the parts by voice, without using any instruments. It is very impressive as each of his punctuations is of great musicality. The exercise never turns into a virtuoso demonstration. Melodic, rhythmic and always inspired, the vocal parts fit together very naturally. We sometimes think of the American Bobby McFerrin for this ability to evoke an instrumental ensemble with just one voice. In the bass, midrange and treble, Faada Freddy covers an absolutely breathtaking spectrum. Great artist, great record.

Neil Young

Since 2006, Neil Young has published an impressive parallel discography drawn from the rich archives of a career that began in 1966 with Buffalo Springfield. Alongside his current production, which is still very sustained, the Canadian-American exhumes albums left aside at the time of their conception. Last year, the excellent Chrome Dreams from 1976-77 finally saw the light of day in its original tracklisting. This time, the septuagenarian publishes the results of sessions carried out in 1975 with his group Crazy Horse.

Equipped with a new guitarist, Frank Sampedro, the band supports the songwriter in one of the most exciting cavalcades of their collaboration. While some of his tracks formed the basis of the Zuma album, others had been shelved to be re-recorded in another form. Dume, a double album, recreates Young's original intentions: to record a long-form epic. The song Born to Run (no relation to Springsteen's hit, released the same year) finally sees the light of day, as does an abrasive version of Ride My Llama. Initially available on CD within the copious Archives volume 2 box set released in 2020, Dume benefits from a welcome vinyl release.

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