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|5. Wele Wele Wintou|
|6. Senkele te sira|
|9. Iyo Djeli|
|10. Mogo Kele|
The album was recorded in Bamako, and co-produced by Nick Gold, Oumou Sangare and Cheick Tidiane Seck. Musicians on the album include fellow World Circuit artist and kora virtuoso Toumani Diabaté, the great guitarist Djelimady Tounkara, afrobeat legend Tony Allen, Living Colour drummer Will Calhoun and Magic Malik on flute.
Seya sees Oumou Sangare attain a new level of sophistication, maturity and variety, all underpinned by her trademark funk-driven Wassoulou sound. As with her previous albums all the songs on Seya were written by Sangare.Oumou Sangare is the most popular female singer in Mali and alongside Salif Keita she is arguably the country's most famous musician. And this in a country renowned for its music where stars such as Amadou and Mariam, Toumani Diabaté, Bassekou Kouyate, Rokia Traoré and Ali Farka Touré have dominated the world music scene in the international arena.
Seya traverses a wide range of moods, from confident and celebratory to more austere, stripped down meditations. And while few artists give as good a groove as Oumou, the latter are often the best settings to appreciate her extraordinary voice; if Aretha Franklin had grown up in Bamako, she might have sounded something like this.
Apart from the declamatory Donso - an adaptation of a traditional Wassoulou hunter's song - the material is all original as usual, and the basis of her distinctive sound remains the twitching, funky sound of the kamel n'goni('youth harp'), mostly played by 'Benogo' Brehima Diakité. But with fifty musicians taking part, there's more variety of sounds and textures than ever. She's used electric guitar before, but never with the kind of squealing rock treatments heard on Senkele Te Sira and Kounadya, which also features a great retro Hammond organ solo by co-producer Cheick TidianeSeck. There's brass and the occasional deft use of strings, as well as guests such as flautist 'Magic' Malik Mazzadri and drummer Tony Allen, but none are allowed to overshadow the star.
Though it's difficult to pick highlights from such a consistent album, the driving opener Sounsoumba and the radiantly joyful title track, with its lovely swooping chorus vocals, are the most instantly appealing of the more upbeat pieces. Despite a great percussive thrust, Wele Wele Wintou is the one track with a vocal not quite up to Sangare's usual stratospheric standards, and the only song where the brass section feels a little out of place. But the hypnotic likes of Sukunyali, or the mesmerising balafon (wooden xylophone) tones of Iyo Djeli and Mogo Kele more than make up for minor shortcomings. --Jon Lusk
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'SEYA', meaning 'joy', Oumou Sangaré's new CD, is a delight to listen to. You can also dance to it! Read morePublished on 12 Sep 2009 by Friederike Knabe
Another great album from a truly great artist. If you love the music of Mali, this one's for you.Published on 9 April 2009 by Thobeka Mnyameni
As one might expect from Oumou Sangare, this is total quality. Faultless stuff. Highly recommended.Published on 5 April 2009 by Graham Mitchell
This is the first Oumou Sangare CD I have purchased, and it won't be the last. Infectious sounds throughout.Published on 31 Mar 2009 by I. Mohammed