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CD Review: Samite – Embalasasa

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Today, we’re going to be reviewing a new album called Embalasasa, by the artist Samite. Now this sounded like the kind of album where I might want to purchase a little verde from my good friend Fumo Verde to enhance the experience. However, he’s currently residing in the local lock-up at the moment. Something about public nudity and committing unnatural acts with an animal. So, I’ll have to roll sober on this one.

Embalasasa is the beautiful, multi-colored, but poisonous lizard that surfaced all over Samite’s Ugandan homeland when he was 12-years-old. “Whenever an embalasasa came into the house, we all climbed on top of a table and called my grandfather to come and kill it. We knew we were safe as long as grandpa was around; he used his walking cane to protect us.”

“On the title song, I call my grandpa to come with his walking cane and kill the modern embalasasa, AIDS, a deadly disease transmitted through the most beautiful, vibrant, and natural act.” The album’s songs draw on Ugandan folklore, geography, and struggle to express words of allegory, healing, and hope. In addition to AIDS, his curative songs address war, intolerance, the death of a loved one, and survival.

This is one of those albums you need to be in a mellow, happy kind of mood to enjoy, (hence my desire for some verde) because the music itself is melodious and kind, and Samite sings in the warmest and mellowest of gentle voices, picture Bobby McFerrin on tranquilizers, being backed by flutes and kalimbas. If you don’t like being lulled then it will drive you batty.

“Give me something a little up-tempo,” you’ll eventually say. “Why does he have to be so pleasant and earnest all the time? It’s like having a Jehovah’s Witness at your door for 45 minutes.” Despite some definite good moments, the song “Nawe Okiwulira” sounds like one of those Afro-funk fusions the Talking Heads attempted, only a lot better — this is why people write off most world music as New Age niceness. It’s not bad, but yaaaaawwwwnnn…

The album moves from flute to percussion to guitar to singing, and overall, I’d say there’s enough good moments here to half-heartedly recommend Embalasasa. Kind of a rainy day album to put on when you feel like being slow and lazy. Of course, truth be told, I find it kind of hard to criticize Samite, simply because he’s far more of an awesome human being than me and most everyone I know or have known — he works with war orphans and he’s the director of the Musicians for World Harmony organization — but there are less-awesome guys out there who are making much more compelling albums than this.

Reviewed by Ladron de Tebeos

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About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS
  • http://www.DannyHaszard.com Danny Haszard

    Up close and personal Jehovah’s Witnesses can be wolves in sheep’s clothing.

    Think about this-When the devil comes knocking on your door he may not have the ‘dark goth look’.They could be smartly dressed and wielding the Christian Bible.

    I have Jehovah’s Witnesses family in the usa who practice the Watchtower JW enforced ritual shunning that i have not seen or heard from in 15 years.

    The central CORE dogma of the Watchtower is Jesus second coming (invisibly) in 1914 and is a lie.Jehovah’s Witnesses are a spin-off of the man made Millerite movement of 1840.

    A destructive cult of false teachings, that frequently result in spiritual and psychological abuse, as well as needless deaths (bogus blood transfusion ban).

    Yes,you can ‘check out anytime you want but you can never leave’,because they can and will hold your family hostage.

    The world has the Internet now,and there are tens of thousands of pages up from disgruntled ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses like myself who have been abused by the Watchtower cult.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are often a mouth that prays a hand that kills.The Watchtower is a truly Orwellian world.
    —-
    Danny Haszard former Jehovah’s Witness X 33 years and 3rd generation http://www.dannyhaszard.com

  • LM

    Jehovah’s Witnesses apply the bible’s counsel to shun those who choose to reject the teachings of the congregation (see; 1 Cor. 5:11-13, Titus 3:10, 11). Such ones often voluntarily disassociate themselves or – in extreme cases – are removed if serious wrongdoing has been committed and an unrepentant attitude is manifest.

    This practice may be considered harsh by some but is essentially a protective measure. Consider; a company would hardly retain an employee who was discovered to be actively working against it.

    It is particularly sad when an individual pursues conduct that he knows will lead to such an eventuality and jeopardise his relationship with family who are fellow Witnesses. It is equally lamentable when a person then turns round and blames the Watchtower Society for it all.

    Please visit http://www.watchtower.org for more information.

  • http://www.silentlambs.org JS

    Pedophilia is covered up in the Jehovah’s Witnesses on a scale worst than the Catholic priest scandal.

    Not only do they deny it but the Watchtower has instructed the Kingdom Hall elders to go after all whistle-blowers.

    The JW’s exploit an obscure 2,000 year old bible passage and demand that there be TWO witnesses to every act of child abuse committed by a Jehovah’s Witness.

    This fosters a code of silence and a “pedophile’s paradise” in the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    http://www.silentlambs.org

  • LM

    See this for a fairer evaluation of the situation.

    Clearly, mistakes have been made (no organization is perfect) but pedophilia is an evil which blights every section of society. To insist on an organization-wide cover up by the Watchtower Society is a gross misrepresentation of the facts. Also, the part about the two witnesses is misleading; there is nothing to stop a JW parent going to the police if abuse is suspected.

    The following quote is taken from the web site given above:

    “Placing abuse in perspective:

    Since the year 2000, evidence has emerged of widespread child sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church, and of subsequent payoffs and cover-ups by the church. Some evidence of sexual abuse within the Watchtower Society (WTS) has also appeared in the media in recent years. What is missing is a measure of balance.

    Sexual abuse is found throughout society. Approximately 1% of girls are so abused by their fathers before puberty, and about 1% by their step-fathers. Abuse of boys is at a lower level. There is really no reliable data which demonstrates whether religion plays a role in this phenomenon. We have never located any trustworthy evidence that sexual abuse of children is higher or lower in the WTS and Roman Catholic Church than in other faith groups or in society as a whole.”

  • http://www.silentlambs.org JS

    LM states-“””There is really no reliable data which demonstrates whether religion plays a role in this phenomenon. We have never located any trustworthy evidence that sexual abuse of children is higher or lower in the WTS”””

    This is a misleading assertion by a Jehovah’s Witness cult apologist.There is compelling evidence of a profound entrenched pedophile coverup in the Jehovah’s Witnesses.See,www.silentlambs.org for documentation

  • LM

    Not true. It was a quote taken from an article at the site http://www.religioustolerance.com and was certainly NOT written by a, “Jehovah’s Witness cult apologist.”