Courtesy: Justin Time Records
award-winning singer Lorraine Klaasen will release her latest full-length studio album this week. The record, Nouvelle Journee, is Klaasen’s fourth full-length studio offering and her first since her 2013 album Tribute To Miriam Makeba. The record is an easy candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new World Music albums. That is due in no small part to the musical variety exhibited throughout the course of the record’s ten songs. That will be discussed shortly. The collective topics presented in the songs are just as important to note of the album’s presentation as its varied musical styles. The companion booklet that is included in the album rounds out its most important elements. That will be discussed later. Needless to say each element plays its own important part in the album’s presentation. All things concerned, this record is, again, one more of this year’s top new World Music albums.
Nouvelle Journee, the latest full-length studio recording from Juno award-winning singer Lorraine Klaasen, is one of this year’s top new World Music albums. That is due in no small part to the varied musical styles presented throughout the course of its ten-song sequence. From one song to the next, no two songs on this record exhibit the same style. Case in point, the album’s opener and title track. The song marries what sounds like traditional African musical stylings with a hop-hop base for a song that instantly grabs listeners. Even despite the fact that the song is sung in three (yes, three) different languages, listeners don’t even have to understand what is being sung to know that the song’s lyrical topic is a perfect fit for its joyous musical arrangement. ‘Home Sweet Home,’ the record’s third song is a complete change of pace for Klaasen. The song presents an air of reggae mixed with certain other elements for yet another arrangement that will grab listeners just as easily as that of the album’s opener. ‘Where To Now,’ the album’s penultimate composition boasts a wonderful old school r&b slow jam arrangement that is an interesting juxtaposition to the song’s lyrical theme. That theme will be discussed shortly. Getting back on topic, the musical arrangement presented in this song, much like those of the album’s other songs, is yet more proof of the varied stylings presented throughout the record. Between this arrangement, those already noted, and the rest of the arrangements presented throughout the album, it is clear that the musical variety presented across this record is an extremely important part of the album’s presentation. It is not the album’s only important element, though. The lyrical themes presented throughout the record are just as important to the record’s presentation as its musical variety.
The musical variety that is exhibited throughout Nouvelle Journee is unmistakably important to the record’s presentation. From beginning to end, no two songs on this record sound the same either in arrangement or style. It is not the only important part of the album’s presentation. The lyrical themes that are presented throughout the record are just as important to examine as its musical variety. Klaasen takes on the dirty arena that is politics in ‘Izani Nonke.’ The album’s opener and title track seems to hint at promoting unity by all of the world’s people. ‘Home Sweet Home’ is another example of the variance in the record’s lyrical themes. This song is meant to be a reflection of what Klaasen felt as she returned to South Africa to visit her friends and family. These are just a few examples of what makes the record’s varied lyrical themes stand out so much in the album’s presentation. As if that isn’t enough example, the effects of colonialism are taken on in ‘Babalazi,’ and the issue of making a difference in making positive changes in the world in ‘Make It Right.’ When these themes are set against the previously discussed themes, and the remainder of the record’s themes, it becomes clear why the album’s lyrical themes are just as important to its presentation as its musical variety. It still is not the last element to examine. The booklet that is included in the album’s presentation is just as important to note in its presentation as its musical and lyrical variety.
The musical and lyrical variety that is exhibited throughout Nouvelle Journee are both key elements to note in examining the album’s overall presentation. That is because between the two elements, audiences are presented something different on both fronts throughout. While each element is undeniably important to the record’s whole, they are not the only important elements to note. The record’s companion booklet is just as important to note as those elements. That is because the booklet offers clear, concise explanations of each song’s lyrical theme whether the song is sung in English, two languages or more. That those explanations are presented, and in English no less, makes the overall listening experience that much more enjoyable for audiences. Considering this, and the album’s musical and lyrical diversity, the value of the album’s booklet joins with those elements to make this record a work that is just as diverse as the people who find themselves enjoying it. Considering this, Nouvelle Journee proves why it is one of this year’s top new World Music albums.
Nouvelle Journee is one of this year’s top new World Music Albums. It is a record that is just as diverse in its makeup as the listeners who will love it. That diversity is exhibited both through its musical makeup and its lyrical themes. The companion booklet that comes with the record rounds out the album’s most important elements. That is because it presents clear, concise explanations of each song’s lyrical theme. This serves to add to the record’s enjoyment especially for American audiences. All things considered, Nouvelle Journee proves in the end to be a “journee” that listeners will love. It will be available in stores and online this Friday, October 21st. More information on Nouvelle Journee is available online now along with all of Lorraine Klaasen’s latest news at:
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