First published in Songlines Magazine issue 131, October 2017.
Keyzit (36 mins)
Takeifa keep it in the family: the five members are all siblings. Four brothers and a sister of the Keita family from Senegal bring together guitar, drums, bass, voice and a bit of rap to create a mix of pop, soul and what they call ‘Afro*Rock’.
Gass Giss – Wolof for ‘Whoever Searches Will Find’ – is the band’s third album but it doesn’t offer much to help it stand out in the crowd, even with special guest Baaba Maal providing vocals on ‘Ndanane’.
The heavier the music gets, the more fun it becomes, so it’s a shame that it doesn’t flex its muscles more often. The track ‘Fire’ has a heavy beat and distorted guitar melting into a blasting flute solo, but falls back into bland pop before too long. There are enjoyable moments here and there – ‘Supporter’ has some cool raps, for example – but if you want cheerful and cheesy Afro-pop, there are many better examples to choose from.