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SEYA


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Product details

  • Audio CD (3 May 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: World Circuit
  • ASIN: B001O59U24
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,770 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sounsoumba
2. Sukunyali
3. Kounadya
4. Donso
5. Wele Wele Wintou
6. Senkele te sira
7. Djigui
8. Seya
9. Iyo Djeli
10. Mogo Kele
11. Koroko

Product Description

Product Description

Seya (Joy) is the first album in six years from 'Mali's Star of Stars' and it reaffirms her position as one of Africa's great female vocalists and an African phenomenon.

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.

On the international stage her albums and explosive performances have earned her an enviable reputation. Oumou is sought out for collaborations by a wide range of international stars including Alicia Keys, Béla Fleck, Trilok Gurtu and Meshell Ndeogeocello. She also counts Oprah Winfrey as a fan.

BBC Review

It's been too long since any album proper from the 'songbird of Wassoulou'. Although the compilation Oumou (2004) included previously unreleased material, (mostly cherry-picked from her Mali-only 2001 release Laban, and reworked), her last internationally promoted record was Worotan in 1996. Thankfully Seya doesn't disappoint - it's the best thing since her marvellous 1991 debut Moussoulou, which is one of the all time great treasures of Malian music.

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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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By mac&cheese on 23 Feb 2009
Format: Audio CD
This album may well turn out to be the African album of the year - Oumou's voice is incredibly strong & soulful and the record is perfectly constructed - let it build and you will be entranced by the end. The sleeve notes and translations will tell you exactly what she is singing about, but in many ways the music speaks for itself....whether you are a new listener to Malian music or someone who is familiar with Oumou's previous albums, there is no way you will regret buying this record!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. TIMMERMAN on 29 April 2009
Format: Audio CD
Seya is the first album in six years for Malian singer Oumou Sangare and it's been well worth the wait. This is a very solid, passionate and uncompromising album, full of strong persuasive vocals and chunky rhythms, with seriously creative arrangements played by a mighty talented backing band.

Many African albums are influenced by Western sounds, with varying degrees of success, but Oumou Sangare has retained the traditional sound and feel of her homeland. No cheesy synths or guitars here, but gutsy rootsy sounds that reach out and grab the listener from beginning to end.

On this album as on others she sings about taboo subjects like polygamy, under-aged forced marriage, sensual love and the role of women in African society. Clearly she has a strong sense of values and that strength pervades this very confident and soulful album.

The funky Wassoulou sound, recorded in Bamako, arranged and produced by Cheikh Tidiane Seck (who must know just about everyone in the African music industry) is sophisticated and intricate so there is depth and joy ("Seya") on many levels.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Barry McGloin on 10 July 2009
Format: Audio CD
This is a fabulous album, so musically rich, vocally, instrumentally and lyrically; the production is superb. Savour it and allow it's beauties to unfold. We have been fortunate this year in that two Malian divas have released albums, Rokia Traore with Tchamantche and now this, Seya by Oumou Sangare, each different styles, each excellent.

This is Oumou Sangare's fifth release including the Oumou compilation from 2004. She has been praised as The Songbird of Wassoulou, this being the style of music which developed from ancient hunting songs and is associated with the Wasulu region south of the Niger. On this album Oumou writes her own material, some based upon traditional songs, but make no mistake, this is modern music with modern themes.

In her songwriting she assumes the responsibility of her position, as she sees it, by using lyrics to address complex and traditional social issues such as the forced marriages of young girls, emigration, family unity, hope and support within the community and general respect for women. Indeed the song Koundaya is about using God given luck well, as though she reminds herself to do so. The lyrics are rich with metaphor, morality tales, proverbs and local sayings. I imagine that Oumou might have some resistance within her community from conservative elements.

Although the lyrics may appear weighty, the overriding impression is one of joy and hope. Seya itself means Joy. The music is exuberant with both male and female call and response, buoyant and colourful with a mix of traditional and modern instrumentation, and above all Oumou's supple, muscular voice sweeps, soars, dives and punctuates. It is a rhythmic vehicle, as well as melodic, unforced and natural.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. C. Ngando Mpondo on 2 Jun 2009
Format: MP3 Download
Oumou Sangare, the African diva, the beautiful songstress with the sublime voice....has once again produced a beautiful album, joyful, a gem...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mabwana on 15 Aug 2013
Format: Audio CD
A brilliant album. The best I have heard from Oumou Sangare. The originality of the sounds and lyrics just set it apart from most of the trash we are being subjected to. Keep it up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. Makiwa on 16 Nov 2009
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
One of the best Afro-Jazz albums of the year. I rate it in the same breath as DKR's Kudakwashe/Munyaradzi, Rassie Ai's Return to Life and Chiwoniso's Rebel Woman.

Brilliant!
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