Sunday, August 16, 2009

CD Review: Oumou Sangare's 'Joy'

One of Mali's great female vocalists, Oumou Sangare presents us with her fifth album since 1989. Seya, otherwise known as 'joy', is an energetic release celebrating life, love, happiness, and independence. An impressive array of a few dozen contributors lend talents throughout the album's tracks. As a result, the tracks are richly embossed with an array of instrumentation and funky beats. Oumou's musical origins from southern Mali serve as a continued influence in her music. For instance, she combines a Wassoulou groove with a kamale n'goni instrument to honor past Wassoulou singers on 'Donso'. Seya contains great vocal melodies, pleasant rhythms, and unique instrumentation. The traditional instrumentation is played in such a way to seem more contemporary. This is funk, afro-beat, highlife, and everything in-between. Pick it up today! ~ Matthew Forss

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