If you like the sound of Zenglen, then you will like Nickenson Prud’homme’s most recent CD entitled: Première Danse. Nickenson Prud’homme, we should remember, is a member of Zenglen, one of my favorite Konpa groups, even though I have not heard from Zenglen in a while. It is thus normal that you find musicians like Richie, Armstrong Jeune, Gracia Delva and others supporting Prud’homme on this album.
Première Danse is an excellent Konpa CD. The music is tight; it does not make noise and the singing is very good. I love the way Prud’homme on the keyboard plays all these cascading notes on some beautiful phrases, making the most effective use of the registers on his instrument. Interestingly, when you play the CD on your computer, you can watch the video format of tune No. 3, U are the one, a very beautiful melody. This is innovative. I particularly like tune No. 4, Zanmi, a slow Konpa beat which gets under your skin. The languorous melody is so nice that you cannot help but be soothed by a slow rocking movement. The lyrics are also excellent in this song, exulting how there can be pure friendship between a man and a woman, without any romantic involvement. The keyboard solo is just excellent. Each one of the songs has its own sound, which make for a nice variety of Konpa beats. Another favorite of mine on this CD is tune No.8, Bel melody, which features the excellent bass player, Yves Albert Abel. Listen to the lyrics and the melody, as well as the bass and guitar solos. They are out of this world.
There is a kind of serenity coming out this CD which shows the quiet assurance with which Nickenson Prud’homme writes his music. Whether he speaks of love, social problems, philosophical problems, the lyrics are excellent. That is something that is too lacking in Haitian CDs. Take any of these songs and listen to these lyrics; you will hear it yourself. Tune No. 11 is called an: Interlude, but in reality, it is an introduction to perhaps the best song on the album: Ti Moun Ayiti. It is not a Konpa tune, but rather a slow melody talking about the condition of children in Haiti. You will not hear anything more poignant than the voice of a child saying: I am hungry, I need food. It is difficult to remain insensitive to this on the CD. Composed by Nickenson Prud’homme, the lyrics go right to the deepest corners of your soul; the strings arrangements are superb and tremendously add to the poignancy of the lyrics. “Protect the children, they are the future of the country”. What can be more true than that?
You may have noticed that I mentioned a few tunes as being my favorites. The truth is that I have many favorites, like for example the last tune entitled : Harmonick, a beautiful instrumental melody denoting the romantic side of Nickenson Prud’homme. The guitarist does an excellent job on this tune. All this translates in my book as a very good Konpa CD that should be in your collection of best Cds. The music is very well mixed, the arrangements are excellent and in short, it is very entertaining. I highly recommend it to your attention.
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Serge Bellegarde for Windows on Haiti