This is truly universal soul music, uniting rhythm and styles from our world over to help you move, relate and BE. Sinkane’s ‘Mean Love’ rolls like an emotional, existential history of the artist. It was recorded at The Rumpus Room in Brooklyn, New York and coproduced with longtime Sinkane collaborator and childhood friend, Greg Lofaro. From Ahmed Gallab’s childhood in Sudan there is a PanAfrican influence of popular Sudanese music and haqibah, as well as distinct horn and synth arrangements more common to East Africa. This background merges with the lessons learned from Ahmed‘s stints with obsessive craftsmen such as Caribou, Yeasayer and Of Montreal. There is much to fall in love with on Mean Love, his second LP on DFA and the follow up to his breakthrough album ‘Mars’. It might be the funky, infectious brass lines of “New Name” or the reggaesoul of “Young Trouble” or the the Sudanese Pop melody of “Omdurman.” There are doses of West African slowburners, surprise appearances of steel guitar arrangements and countrysoul, a Noir Blaxploitation vibe, and a newly found sweet falsetto voice reminiscent of Curtis Mayfield specifically in album standout “Hold Tight.” Mean Love is an emotionally rich and generous soul album with a very welcoming appeal. The restless creative drive of Ahmed Gallab these past few years has led to a true breakthrough moment for the artist, and this album is a true reward for time well spent.