Amadou & Mariam - Dimanche a Bamako

Posted By MiOd On Wednesday, September 25, 2013 Under
Having issued a handful of excellent Afro-rock albums on small independent labels in the last few years, which have attracted attention within the world music community, Amadou and Miriam are poised to break out with Dimanche A Bamako, arguably the best album of a career that goes back 30 years. Produced by mischievous French/Spanish pop star Manu Chao (who even co-wrote and sings on a few tunes), the album fuses the couple's dynamic grooves with the producer's signature everything-and-the-kitchen sink backgrounds. This is truly a collaboration of like-minded individuals: Chao's own rabid multi-culti mix of styles enhances the blind couple's guitar-driven mix of blues-rock and African percussion, as well as Latin, dance and reggae grooves. Highlights include the impossibly catchy "Senegal Fast Food" and the percolating "Coulibaly," while the couple's political bent comes out on "Politic Amagni." Truly an album with a global perspective, there is something for everyone here, and rather than diluting the stew, it makes it all the more tasty. ­ --Tad Hendrickson

Amadou and Mariam are a middle-aged blind couple from Mali who have been singing and playing together since the 1970s, when they met at a school for the blind in Bamako. For years, they have enjoyed modest success, with Amadou playing guitar alongside Salif Keita in Les Ambassadeurs, and the couple's own R&B fusion albums notching up moderate sales in France as well as Africa. But they were hardly celebrities. Suddenly, all that has changed. Manu Chao heard them and was so impressed that he offered to produce, co-write and even perform on their latest album, Dimanche … Bamako. The album is a slice of Afro-pop heaven, stippled with Chao's stylistic fingerprints (street noises, wailing sirens, reggae-lite, sonic trickery).

01. M'Bife
02. M'Bife Balafon
03. Coulibaly
04. La Realite
05. Senegal Fast Food
06. Artistiya
07. La Fete au Village
08. Camions Sauvages
09. Beaux Dimanches
10. La Paix
11. Djanfa
12. Taxi Bamako
13. Politic Amagni
14. Gnidjougouya
15. M'Bife Blues

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