As if Eric Wainaina is not a star enough, his freshest album Love and Protest has incorporated some heavy musical machinery. Starting with a beautiful track at number 5, The Road features West African super-talent Baaba Maal.
Maal translated his own verse in the song, which talks about not straying from your roots and sticking to that road that takes you home.
Other big names featured on the 14-track album are Atemi Oyungu, Neema Ntalel, Nanjira Sambuli, and some members of The London Adventist Chorale. The Rimbui duo, Tim and Aaron are behind most of the arrangements, and the music was brought together by the Best Band in Africa.
The most well-known song is Fancy Car – aka Mr Politician – while the rest are fresh off the nyungu (pot).
Eric is currently trying to ignore his creative juices so that he can focus on selling the album, which is currently going for $3.99 on iTunes.
“We did our best to make it affordable, and now we’re looking to push numbers. Our target is 1 million copies.”
Except for the obvious African beats in Orutu Special (Track 6), Eric’s music spans from Afro to jazz to reggae to Kenyan pop to pure inspirational, beckoning the inner spirit to do right and make right what’s wrong around it.
My favourite songs are Isn’t It Funny and The Road.
Sing Mercy and Tabasamu on the other hand are interesting for lack of a better word. The melody doesn’t quite go where you’re expecting it to and so it forces you to listen hard to try and catch up. I’m giving it a couple of weeks…because other than those two, the rest of musical composition is of top quality, easily embracing the listener.
All in all, Love and Protest is definitely Kenyan and the love for music is evident. The sleeve contains lyrics to all the 14 tracks, which at roughly Sh399 means that the love extends to your pocket.