When it was released in 1980, Talking Heads’ ‘Remain In Light’ was hailed for its radical departure from the conventional rock ‘n’ roll template, embracing Afrobeat to thrilling effect. 38 years on, Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo is effectively putting a stamp of approval on it by recording the album from start to finish – and it is a wholly thrilling experience. Not for her a straight recreation – as her interpretations are packed with brassy hooks, full on percussion and elastic bass lines. Her free interpretation of ‘Once In A Lifetime’ is a good guide to the unbuttoned approach she takes, as is the whirlwind of ‘The Great Curve’, powering forward unstoppably. The brass on ‘Houses In Motion’ will melt the hardest heart, while ‘Listening Wind’ offers a hopeful outcome. A fascinating take on an album that has stood the test of time, and confirmation that its influences are genuine.
Ben Hogwood
5 out of 5

Angelique Kidjo – "Born Under Punches" – Remain In Light