I like the album immensely, having picked it up on a suggestion by mike (even though my comment left there vanished into the ether)
Senegal's Youssou N'Dour continues his exploration of the diverse, indigenous music of that West African nation with his new album, "Rokku Mi Rokka."
With his new album, "Rokku Mi Rokka" (Nonesuch), Senegal's Youssou N'Dour continues his exploration of the diverse, indigenous music of that West African nation. His shift away from the exciting polyrhythmic blend of African and Western pop known as mbalax began in 2002 with "Nothing's in Vain," which presented traditional Senegalese folk music. Two years later, his "Egypt" was built on Arabian-influenced orchestrations and lyrics shaped by Islamic and Sufi philosophy. And now "Rokku Mi Rokka" explores the music of northeast Senegal and its desert regions.
This doesn't mean the 48-year-old Mr. N'Dour has given up mbalax, which he's performed since the 1970s. For his huge following in Africa, the Middle East and Western Europe, and growing fan base in the U.S., he remains its great proponent. Confident and charismatic, he's a dynamic performer regardless of the style of music he's playing, a smart, stirring songwriter and a remarkable vocalist. Those who know him only through his contribution to Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" or his world-wide hit with Neneh Cherry, "7 Seconds," have experienced but a glimmer of his gifts.
[From Youssou N'Dour on CD and in Concert]
Mr. N'Dour's voice is instantly recognizable, and gorgeous.
(click here for Digg-enabled full link to WSJ article)