I often wonder, considering the dark days that we find ourselves in, why there isn’t more music commenting on our times. Most significant music forms have arisen as some sort of reaction to a social or political backdrop, from rock and roll’s restless teenagers, to hip-hop’s reaction to gang violence and inner-city inequality to punk’s general dissatisfaction with…well, almost everything around them. But such voices seem to have been lost in the crowd as culture, and music in particular, has become untethered from its roots and perhaps its real purpose.
So, The World Is Crying, arrives like a welcome breath of fresh air proving that some artists still feel the need to comment on the injustices of the world around them, and also that protest songs, and this is a protest song in the gentlest sense of the meaning, don’t have to be loud, bombastic and full of knee jerk reaction.
Teaming up with Cameroonian songwriter/producer Francis Mbe and Brazilian percussionist João Parahyba, Malou Beauvoir brings us a gorgeous track, a cross-cultural communication woven from soft African beats and subtle Latin grooves, voices of plaintive lament wrapped in gorgeous harmonies, chiming and understated guitar lines and washes of sonic beauty.
A natural reaction to everything from the ongoing political turmoil in the world, heightened racial and religious division, the blind march towards oblivion as marked by climate change, and of course, the anxiety and isolation ushered in by COVID-19, it revels in a silkiness, a beautiful musical sheen which might at first seem at odds with the subject matter it juggles.
But they say that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar and perhaps if more songs blended poignancy and resonant lyrics with such musical sweetness and light, perhaps more people would listen and take notice of the concerns of such artists. Concerns which, whether we like it or not, affect us all.