Moonlight Benjamin – Siltane

Album Review | Ma Case | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5

A surprisingly adrenaline-soaked rocker of an album this, the opening track of which immediately alerts us to the energy-packed Voodoo inspired goodies to follow, as Haitian singer Moonlight Benjamin attacks each song with unmitigated authority. Much of the album is delivered in Creole, Haiti’s official language, with some French included. There’s no translations included and neither should there be, as the songs pack so much of a punch, you almost instinctively know what is being passionately conveyed. Now living in France and named for the luminescence that was expected to light her future according to her adoptive father, the Reverend Doucet Alvarez, the orphaned singer cut her musical teeth singing gospel in church, going on to join singer/guitarist Tines Salvant. A period of hard work followed, in which the singer honed her craft, paving the way for her own spiritual journey into the music she describes as a mixture of Voodoo and Rock and Roll. With a hard rocking blues undercurrent, exemplified on “Chan Dayiva”, the title track “Siltane” and the dramatic “Doux Pays”, together with such powerful performances as the album closer, “Met Agwe”, Moonlight Benjamin is in possession of an utterly commanding voice that should be heard by many.