Sunday, March 23, 2014

CD Review: Sousou & Maher Cissoko's 'Africa Moo Baalu'

Sousou & Maher Cissoko
Africa Moo Baalu
Arc Music

Swedish/Senegalese-couple, Sousou and Maher Cissoko, bring us an inviting recording of pleasurable kora melodies and vocal harmonies steeped in African charm. The kora, guitar, percussion, and vocals mark an energetic and richly-diverse recording that is exciting, catchy, and very fun. The scintillating kora on "Fall" is one of the most beautiful tracks on the album. The fine interplay between Sousou's vocals and guitar with Maher's kora, shaker, and calabash arrangements are splendid. Plus, Sousou's heartfelt vocals lead the musical progression with English lyrics. Sousou and Maher do not incorporate Swedish song elements at all, so African music is at the forefront. Notably, Sousou's ability to play the kora is unique, because women traditionally do not play the kora instrument. Thankfully, Sousou picked up the instrument and joined forces with Maher to create a wonderful album. ~ Matthew Forss

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