Albums that are put together this well really don't come along very often. At all. England-born Sudanese pop masterchamp Ahmed Gallab has come a long way from his early days of putting out meandering, experimental jazz-and-krautrock-tinged thesis projects. Life & Livin' It is a perfect record: precise, catchy, and preeminently light on its feat, the record moves and breathes with a sunny freedom most pop records can only dream of.
Seriously, just about every track on Life & Livin' It is a complete home-run. "Deadweight" opens the record with a quiet synth line, before Gallab's hopscotch guitar work and African Beach Boy vocals join the party. The record avoids getting much more complicated than this, in terms of arrangement, and this decision is a smart one; the record absolutely doesn't need to. Produced to perfection by Gallab himself, Life & Livin' It sounds like an absolute dream. Guitars are crisp, the bass pops just the right amount, the drums sound church hall huge when they need to and deftly fill in the rhythmic details when they don't. Gallab's production and arrangement skills are on full force here, the finely-tuned skills of a true career musician, brought lovingly to bear on each and every track in exactly the right way.