Black Star Elephant
Label: Warner Records
The Afro-Norwegian duo may open with an a cappella nod to Ladysmith Black Mambazo, but Nicolas Sereba and Vincent Dery mostly deliver fluid global pop graced with African percussion splashes and deft guitar lines. Lead single "Am I Wrong" remains their most distinctive realization, a worthy hit breathlessly urging listeners to reach for the stars. That wide-eyed optimism spills over into other songs, nearly all teetering with inspirational verse. They're rarely deep: "If everybody were poor/ we'd all be rich" is typical. Still, their positivity is infectious, as are the hooks.