Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Who Rocked it Better? Kalf Wolf vs Toto - Africa

If you're not exactly sure who Karl Wolf is, here's a little introduction. His real name is Carl Abou Samah, his Arabic his name is كارل أبو سمح and he's a Lebanese Canadian based out of Montreal. Flying mostly under the radar during his solo career that started in 2001, this is the sole track that has gotten him some love outside of Canada. You could say I'm a little late on this one considering he released the song in 2008, but it samples one of the better old school electro pop songs and most widely recognized tracks by Toto titled Africa.

As an introduction to Karl Wolf, here's one of my favorite tracks by him titled Like This.

Karl Wolf - Like This HOTTT R&B!!!


The schizophrenic tempo and upbeat Middle Eastern inspired beat give it a unique sound that contrasts with much of what's heard in the US R&B wise. It definitely fits in lyrically with the verses and chorus sounding like something you'd hear on the radio though. Pretty cool track though all things considered because it gives you a flavor of Hip Hop/R&B that you wouldn't normally hear.

As far Africa is concerned, it was originally released in 1982 and I'd describe it as a smooth, electro, light rock track. The vibe produced by the track can only be described as uplifting and easy listening. From the mellow verses to the high pitched, high energy chorus, the song is classic.

Regardless of who you think rocked it better, covering this track was clearly a good decision by Karl considering it went 3 times platinum and has been his most successful single by millions of copies. While you're at it check out the video Karl filmed for Africa.Oh and be on the look out for Mr. Wolf's new album due out in July titled Bite the Bullet.

You be the judge though, do he rock it better than the original by Toto?

Karl Wolf - Africa Great Cover!!!


Toto - Africa CLASSIC 1980s!!!


GWDJ Verdict: In my eyes it would have been a tall order for anyone to cover this track, let alone an unheard of, yet talented artist like Karl Wolf. I'd say as far as capturing the energy and positive vibe of the track he absolutely did it. He took an iconic track and did a pretty good job with the beat and chorus in shaping it to his own sound. Where he went wrong was the whole reggaeton that was brought to the track by Culture. I thought he could have filled in the below average reggae verses with some soulful verses of his own. As a result, I'd give Toto the nod on who rocked it better because while Karl did a good job capturing the original vibe, he fell short ultimately because of the verses.

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