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  • Angélique Kidjo
  • Razor and Tie

Angélique Kidjo grew up awash in a world of music, hearing not only the traditional songs of her native Benin, but also West African highlife, American R&B and Bollywood soundtracks. Oyo, her tenth album, celebrates that cultural cross-pollination with Africanized versions of everything from Santana's Samba Pa Ti to James Brown's Cold Sweat. But what Oyo offers isn't tribute so much as reinvention, as Kidjo takes full possession of her influences, infusing Curtis Mayfield's Move On Up with a bubbly, polyrhythmic intensity (not to mention cameos from Bono and John Legend) and turning Aretha Franklin's Baby, I Love You (with the help of Dianne Reeves) into the haunted, wistful lament Monfe Ran E.

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