Album review: Hermas Zopoula - 'Espoir'

Just because it's African, doesn't mean it's good, people

Album review: Hermas Zopoula - 'Espoir'

3 / 10 Forget the blues legend about being the seventh brother - Hermas Zopoula is allegedly the 36th of his brood. Maybe the 49th had blues-squared levels of talent, because Hermas doesn’t. He became friendly with an American couple gap yearing in Burkina Faso - and what better way to repay him for showing them round than by, say, arranging a record deal with Sufjan Stevens’ label? It’s already being billed as diamond-in-the-rough triumph over impossible odds, but he’s no Ouagadogouan Susan Boyle. If soukous and Congolese rumba sound exotic, the reality is as bland as yam quiche. The only high points are comic and unintentional - like when ‘Espoir’ whacks on the Alvin & The Chipmunks pitch-shift. Please, no-one tell him about Auto-Tune.

Gavin Haynes

Click here to get your copy of Hermas Zopoula's 'Espoir' from the Rough Trade shop

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