Time Out says
For a very groovy decade, drummer Tony Allen helped his boss Fela Kuti carve the sound of Afrobeat in the famed band Africa ’70, for which Allen served as music director. His playing, Kuti noticed, resembled the work not of a single drummer, but of four men. Allen, meanwhile, remains the portrait of a working musician, playing sessions behind pop singers and enlisting in Damon Albarn’s smartest project, The Good, the Bad and the Queen. Yet it is with the drummer’s namesake band that he carries Afrobeat’s torch. His recent album Secret Agent divides lead vocals among a half dozen singers, including the gentle-throated drummer himself. Yet the prevailing voice here, as on so many Allen sides, remains the percussion: improbably busy but never showy, arty and cerebral but always devoted to vital concerns of the booty.