March 31, 2009

Amadou & Mariam - Welcome To Mali (2008)

Amadou & Mariam create music that can just as easily tranquilly wash over you in your favorite easy chair, as make you dance right out of your pants, or dashiki. Similarly to the impeccable Dimanche À Bamako, Welcome To Mali is "world music" for people who do not (as well as those who do) typically listen to world music. Although the African influences are unambiguous, the album transcends the typical musical barriers between "western" and "not-so-western;" English language and not-so-English-language; and the "familiar" and "not-so-familiar." The source of this unique attribute appears to be Amadou & Mariam's willingness and foresight to work with producers who have pioneered the world-western crossover, and in doing so, blend universal pop hooks, mesmerizing bluesy electric guitar, with absolutely addicting dance rhythms and charming sing-a-long vocals (albeit in French, but that's the entire point: You do not have to understand it to enjoy it.) Welcome To Mali is perfect to mix it up a bit at your next party, or to simply impress others with your eclectic taste, but ultimately, you don't need ulterior motives to dig this album.

Personal favorites: "Sebeke (including the secret song)," "DJama," "Ce N'est Pas Bon," & "Masiteladi."


Doctor Diggs said...

sounds related news, i know a guy form Mali who sings. he is pretty cool, but i'm pretty sure he just makes stuff up as he goes because NO ONE in Santa Barbara speaks Malinese as far as I know. check Ali Baba out:

Nightrain said...

Awesome. Do you know this guy? Or, know of this guy?

I'll check him out.

Nightrain said...

Good stuff. Much, much mellower than Amadou & Mariam... I think it is your duty to review Ali in some shape or form. Album, show, interview?

A piece of Gonzo journalism, perhaps.