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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

Manze Dayila And The Nago Nation
Published September 25, 2008

Solé
As Is Entertainment

With her personal story of survival and success as compelling as her resilient voice, Manze Dayila’s music is poignant and heartfelt. Blending acoustic instruments such as the balafon and kora with electric guitar, bass, drum set and keyboards, Dayila and Co. ably span decades and genres of influence, including African and the Caribbean. And yet, some tunes such as “That Feeling” and “Kafé” feature contemporary rap vocal parts, which some might argue detract, rather than add, to the strength of those particular numbers. Two of the songs are all-too-brief instrumental interludes, featuring the balafon, giumbre, carcavas and other acoustic percussion. Such a tease: if these percolating snippets had been developed further, they’d be real standouts. “Simbi D’lo” has a funky, almost Afro-Tropical groove, as do many of the Haitian/Kreyól-inspired tunes. All in all, this is an album and artist deserving attention.