Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1089

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Review

Gérald Toto : Sway

Gerald1

9

6.2

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UK release date 26.10.2018

I last heard Gérald Toto on trio album Bondeko, recorded with fellow global journeymen Lokua Kanza and Richard Bona, the ethereal backdrop and out of this world harmonies slew critics leading one reviewer to liken the trio to "an African Crosby, Stills and Nash."

This new,comparable offering sees Toto take the reigns single handedly performing and producing this slice of seductive magic.His groovy acoustic guitar,dreamy vocals are a real treat to the ears,fresh sounding and full of pathos - the journey of the african diaspora takes route here especially with the scintllating ' Umbaka' where the african chant meets a Bobby McFerrin inspired piece of Doo Wop.

Title track 'Sway' does exactly that like crashing waves on a beach at sunset.Toto comes up with unusual chord structures that suit his floating,soothing voice,this man has a lilt that could charm any summer breeze,a mesmeric quality that continues with the soulful and hooky 'You Got Me' and the philosophical 'Let It Blow'.

The dream like half awake, half asleep feel of this album is full of real tangible emotion and the electronic almost Gorillaz sounding groove of 'It's A Love Pain' ramp it up a further gear with a welcome funky outburst. The modern lullabies provide the perfect antidote to modern stressful life. Hear a true master at work,he is without doubt an original voice.
Words Emrys Baird

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