Jain – Zanaka (2015)

The French-African singer’s debut album is unlike anything I’ve heard before. From opening tracks like”Come” to “Mr. Johnson” to the addictive “Makeba,” Jain has crafted an exuberant pop album not at all dissimilar to Nelly Furtado’s 2000 debut “Whoa Nelly.” It’s a thrilling blend of many genres primarily organized around African tribal beats, with the singer’s distinctive, heavily-accented vocals layered on top of the irresistible music like maple syrup on a pancake. Highly recommended for fans of world music, who should find plenty to enjoy here, even at its scant 33 minute running time.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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