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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > World Music > Angelique Kidjo (World Music)

Angelique Kidjo – World Music Portraits


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extra: D     Program: B-



Arte Video’s World Music Portraits series is designed to expose some very talented artists not heard of in the United States to U.S. audiences.  With the state of music today, they cannot release enough of them.  The volume on vocalist Angelique Kidjo introduces us to a woman dubbed the African version of Edith Piaf.  High complement indeed.


Besides hearing her amazing voice and seeing her amazing energy in concert, she takes on a tour of her homeland Benin, visits places she has not been to in years and shows us aspects of her society and societies nearby you never hear about in the U.S., so this program goes beyond her music, while also showing its roots.


The way she connects with people is wonderful, on and off stage, and she has thoughts to share worth hearing.  Her music is not highly political, but is far from pointless.  You do not even need subtitles to know and hear that she is an artist who performs form a point of strength and knowledge.  She has great stage presence and I would not be surprise if we saw her surface in some surprise way down the line.


The letterboxed 16 X 9/1.78 X 1 image is not anamorphically enhanced, but is not bad.  I doubt this is High Definition, but the footage is quality video that is clean and as sharp as it can be under the circumstances.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 is Stereo and is not bad either, but there are no extras.


When watching, I occasionally thought of Grace Jones, though Miss Kidjo is not doing New Wave or the latest Avant Garde fashion.  The common denominator is heritage and boldness, but Kidjo remains unique and it is no wonder she is so popular in her country.  Angelique Kidjo - World Music Portraits runs only 53 minutes, but is worth your time.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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