The Very Best
Moshi Moshi Records 
Fire Note Says: The Very Best return with another slice of catchy Afro-pop that will make your feet tap.
MTMTMK is the new record from Afro-pop unit The Very Best and the follow up to their 2009 critical success Warm Heart Of Africa. It is an album that really could have went several ways as it would have been expected to go a more commercial route on MTMTMK but instead the duo of singer Esau Mwamwaya and producer Johan Hugo actually keep a balance on the record by digging deeper into the Very Best roots in sections while upping the rapid fire beats and dance anthems in others.
This staying true to their brand of Afro-pop is admiral but I will tell you that there is nothing as memorable as their 2009 title track collaboration with Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig on MTMTMK. Now that does not make the record a bust but it does keep it from totally succeeding as well because even though tracks like "Yoshua Alikuti", "I Wanna Go Away" and "We OK" that features K'NAAN are great other songs such as "Rumbae" featuring MNEK and "Rudeboy" are too dancy, too synth heavy and ultimately are too pop.
The Very Best are important because of the unique way they can infuse their brand of Afro-pop style into the mainstream and when they connect there is nothing better then to have the tracks here blaring out of your stereo. I would have loved to see them completely pull back here in parts and go more traditional which I believe would have propelled MTMTMK to the same critical acclaim as Warm Heart but the choice to lean into the more dance pop world definitely holds the album back a bit as a whole. Regardless of some of their musical direction here The Very Best once again prove that Afro-pop can be cool and in the right setting it doesn't get any better. MTMTMK should still please fans and will play great on any summer day so even though it doesn't strike the same chord as their last record it is still a solid listen.
Key Tracks: "Kondaine (feat. Seye)", "Yoshua Alikuti", "We OK (feat. K'NAAN)"
Bands With Similar Fire:
The Very Best: Warm Heart Of Africa [Fire Note Review 10/29/09] [#7 Top 50 of 2009]
The Very Best Website
The Very Best Facebook
Moshi Moshi Records
-Reviewed by Christopher Anthony