26/30 classic review folk rock

geoffrey oryema – exile (1990)

The cover of Exile poses two possible scenarios: the person is being thrown, or they are raising their head as an expression of openness. The status of ‘exile’ holds the same dualism—free, in theory only, to go anywhere but your home. The record is a story of youthful longing, and we imagine the protagonist walking with each step further away from childhood. Brian Eno knits thermal ambient textures to give the narrative a wistful lens, while Oryema’s vocals cover the land between throaty hushes and tense, soaring strains. The instrumental repetition gives his immense voice a real responsibility: he uses it skilfully and soulfully. 


A favourite: ‘Piny Runa Woko’ 

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