The journey of this 1998 record’s title is a very literal one, as experienced by Maryam Mursal and her five children when they underwent a seven-month odyssey – on foot, by donkey, by truck – to escape the trials and tribulations of their native Somalia. That this harrowing journey is recounted in such an uplifting, positive and downright funky manner is far more than we have a right to expect. A diamond-hard rhythm section and chunky horns lay the foundation for Maryam’s passionate, soul-dripping voice.
A voice that pleads for home …
Far and away the funkiest album ever connected to Denmark . . . sympathetic but indomitable, a woman who knows what she wants . . . her voice is as rich and assertive as those of Margareth Menezes of Brazil and Angelique Kidjo of Benin. The Journey rides Somalian melodies into a cross-cultural wonderland. Mursal and her arranger, Soren Kjaer Jensen, realized that her voice could stand up to just about anything. Mursal sounds too tough to let herself be reduced to an exotic sonic ingredient. When she tours this summer as part of Africa Fete, her forthright voice will not be denied.
New York Times (1998) (USA)
Funkier than a room full of snowboarders.
You experiment with this rhythmic colossus at your peril – inhale it and you could win the giant slalom, break the world speed record and fly a balloon around the world. Undoubtedly the funkiest LP ever to come courtesy of the Danish Music Council.
Time Out (1998) (UK)