Writing about a song that is being sung in a language other than my own has both disadvantages and advantages. On the down side, without that direct lyrical communication the song’s narrative and meaning is going to pass me by. But this also leads to the big plus point, that if I don’t have the lyrics to guide and influence me, I come to the song from a purely emotive place. The vocals become instruments and I can concentrate on the sonic qualities of the track rather than the story line.
And Mipitrapitra is built on a wealth of such qualities. There is a delicacy in the guitar that lies at the heart of everything, a grace and restraint where the spaces between the deftly picked notes are as integral as the actual playing. Raharisoa’s voice is smooth and eloquent but the song quickly becomes a harmonious duet and the additional vocals push the grandeur of the song to even greater heights. Sultry saxophones, gently pulsing bass lines and simple, unfussy drums all help build the song to a smooth crescendo and the whole thing becomes a beautiful jazz-folk infused slice of sonic gold.
Some songs use lyrics to communicate directly with the listeners head, others use music to connect directly with the soul. This is definitely in the latter category.