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Nothing's In Vain (Coono Du Reer)

5 customer reviews

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Biography

After countless forays into the western world, Youssou N'Dour chose Dakar as a base from which to lead his geopolitical campaign in music. His strategy is pan-African: "What all of us Africans share is much more important than what we don't share," says this elegant, fifty-year old youngster, who grew up in the Medina in Senegal's capital city, Dakar. Bringing unity to ... Read more in Amazon's Youssou N'Dour Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Nothing's In Vain (Coono Du Reer) + Egypt + The Guide (Wommat)
Price For All Three: £23.23

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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 Oct. 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B00006JP29
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 110,095 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

These days, Youssou N'Dour's Western releases seem to have more in common with florid 70s pop than his signature mbalax sound. As Nothing's in Vain illustrates, this stunningly gifted singer is vastly overqualified for such uncomplicated material, and his rootsy acoustic backup band is repeatedly compromised by glaringly out-of-place programmed drums and synth patches. Most of the tunes were composed by N'Dour, but the set list also includes a chanson by Georges Brassens plus a cloying duet with French pop star Pascal Obispo. Why? Debates about authenticity are useless and demeaning, but N'Dour is clearly underestimating his potential non-African audiences. Meanwhile, longtime listeners still crave the dangerous beauty, visceral thrills, and ornate, jagged time signatures that characterise his Senegalese output. En passant, it is worth noting that Olatunji, Miriam Makeba and Cesaria Evora all achieved lasting international fame by providing an irresistible alternative to the prevailing status quo, not more of the same in another language. --Christina Roden

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Albert Bond on 31 Oct. 2002
Format: Audio CD
During 20 years in the music industry Youssou N'Dour has sung in English, French and Wolof, The language of his grigot(praise-singing) ancestors. Already well established on the West African music scene it was't until 1994 that N'Dour hit international acclaim with his award winning album "The Guide" featuring a blistering duet with Nina Cherry in "Seven Seconds". Since his last album Jololi in 2000 which had a heavy western influnce with songs recorded alongside artists such as Wycleff and sting, N'Dour has returned to his roots to find inspiration for Nothing's in Vain his most traditional and prehaps his best album--yet. This beautiful collection of songs are among N'Dour's finest and have a very uplifting feel to them. Accompanied by the 8 piece backing band Super Etoile, traditional players on the Kora (harp lute) balafon (xylophone) and xalam (lute), and not forgetting N'Dour's Spine-tingling 7 octave voice, the ingredients are all there. All this along with chattering guitars and talking drums make this is a must have album for all world music and in fact all music lovers. YOUSSOU N'DOUR TRULY IS A WORLD CLASS ARTIST.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Nov. 2002
Format: Audio CD
I have been a fan of Youssou N'Dour's music for about 10 years now and am disappointed to see that he feels the need to produce music for the Western public differently from what he produces for the Senegalese market.
'Nothing is in vain' is a beautiful album, like anything that has ever come from Youssou N'Dour, yet most of the rythms are addapted to the western ear and they lack the amazing force of his original mbalax stuff.
Maybe I am oldfashioned, but I want him to get back to what he did on his previous albums, even Joko is less western for my taste. But as he said in his song Birima on the Joko (the way it was translated to me by a Senegalese friend): 'Whereever you will go or what ever you will do, I will follow'. Youssou N'Dour is still the King of African music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marion Brandis on 30 Oct. 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have only heard about this album recently and have really enjoyed the range and breadth of this artist's voice and music. Looking forward to more!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Phil M. on 10 Nov. 2002
Format: Audio CD
For those thinking that N'dour had lost his roots, or that they'd heard enough World Music, Youssou's latest is an inspiration. Using, predominantly, traditional influences and instruments, Youssou has created a treasure.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Nadim Bakhshov VINE VOICE on 18 Mar. 2004
Format: Audio CD
Youssou takes a side-step in what some might see as a clear linear superstar trajectory to breathe and contemplate some strange musical flavour that will not appeal to the purist. It mixes styles and instrumentations but works at a gentler level.
Some of the pieces are the warmest he has ever written.
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