(Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
The Angel You Don't Know (2020), 5/10
Fountain Baby (2023), 5.5/10

Ghanaian-American singer and producer Amaarae (Ama Serwah Genfi) debuted with the sleepy ballad Fluid, off the EP Passionfruit Summers (2017). That fusion of old-fashioned Afropop, classic rap and neosoul lies at the core of The Angel You Don't Know (Golden Child, 2020). Most songs (like Fantasy and Leave me Alone) are melancholy but danceable Afropop. Some veer towards sultry neosoul (Party Sad Face and the too somnolent Celine). She often intones childish nursery-rhymes in an almost Arabic melisma, like in Fancy and especially Hellz Angel, where it is coupled with a detuned organ and a hip-hop beat. The convoluted swampy beat in the catchy duet Jumping Ship wakes you up if you were falling asleep.

Fountain Baby (2023), produced by Jephte "Kyu Steed" Baloki and Kwame "KZ DidIt" Kwei-Armah, is an album of soft and even ethereal soul music for baby vocals with beats that revolve around hand drumming. The energetic Co-Star steals the show, but the rest is varied and cosmopolitan enough to appeal to worldwide audiences, from the Brazilian-tinged Big Steppa to the ballad Disguise, where orchestra and convoluted beats duel with no winners, from the sensual and propulsive Sociopathic Dance Queen to the liquid and somnolent Aquamarie Luvs Ecstasy. There are also funny hybrids: the somber elegy Sex Violence Suicide erupts into a punk-rock rave-up, and Wasted Eyes sounds like an Arabic remix of a Shakira hit.

(Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )