Album Review // Power of the Trinity…A Slight Return
By Kevin Tshiamala
There is always something admirable and enjoyable about feel good music that brings light to social world issues in a unique way. You can’t help but be drawn in by the message of the Michael Franti’s and Tomas Doncker’s of the world. Thankfully, Tomas Doncker’s mission has not yet come to an end. The Tomas Doncker Band is back with another strong feel good and culturally alive album, Power of the Trinity…A Slight Return.
The album title, Power of the Trinity…A Slight Return, is a reference to the revolutionary Ethiopian King, His Imperial Majesty Hail Selassie I, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, King of Kings of Ethiopia, Elect of God. The connection is evident in the title and style of the first track, “Brooklyn 2 Ethiopia.” The song is filled with timely funk influences, soul, call and response, spiritual lyrics, and African folk chants. It’s a great introduction that leads you perfectly into “We Need Justice.” This song, much like that of Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up,” urges people to “jump up” and “claim their prize” because not only do “we want justice, we need justice.” Rather than present this message in a “We Are the World” fashion, it uses the brilliant African rhythms and congas mixed with the New Orleans’ Creole sound to make for a dance revelation calling. “Peace (Hold On)” carries on the Sly and Family Stone style of rhythm while continuing to spread their message of global soul.
By this point of the album, “Power of the Trinity feels almost like the soundtrack to a Broadway play, as harmonizing vocalists belt out epic choruses” (VeggieFans.net). This is even more evident in the love song “Habesha Girl.” It is rare that you hear a song that praises the essence, sensibility, and beauty of African women. “Habesha Girl” takes the leap and does a fantastic job of intertwining cultures and reminding the many of us who forget that Africa, despite its troubles, still possesses natural beauty, such as that of its women. The album closes out with “Abet Gurage 2013, which is a Blues Brothers, show-ending, funky, reggae-infused, culturally diverse, fun, chanting, groove that once again makes you move your feet. Precisely stated by Laurie of VeggieFans, “The full sound and captivating guitar riffs propel listeners to wonder, when can I see this live?”
The world is in need of more Tomas Doncker Bands. Their message of global soul expressed through their music, philanthropy, and album Power of the Trinity…A Slight Return, are great creative contributions to eradicating cultural inequalities.
Check out their YouTube video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0JX3bH4uCY