49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on 3 October 2007
While not quite in the Buena Vista Social Club class as a romantic story of veteran virtuosity rediscovered, the 2002 comeback of Senegal's Orchestra Baobab almost two decades after they split up was spectacular enough. Five years on comes the second reunion album and, listening to its warm melodies and lilting rhythms, it's hard to argue with the record company's press release which excitedly announces `Africa's perfect pop group are back!' Mixing new compositions with reworked songs from their 70s heyday, Baobab have probably never sounded better. First, Nick Gold's production leaves the sound quality of those early recordings in the shade. And secondly, their return to playing live means that their musical chops are in much better shape than on 2002's Specialist In All Styles. Each of the group's six lead vocalists brings a different soulful nuance, but in many ways the album belongs to guitarist Barthélemy Attisso. You'd never have guessed on their last album that he hadn't touched a guitar in years but on this one you can definitely hear that he's been playing regularly ever since and his fluidity now rivals the Rail Band's Djelimady Tounkara. The stand-out track is probably `Nijaay', a 70s epic reinvented by Attisso's wah-wah guitar and great guest vocals from Youssou N'Dour. But the overwhelming feeling of Made In Dakar is of a band having fun, from the infectious rumba of `Aline' via the speeded-up chachachá of `Jirim' to the last track, `Colette', on which they sound like a Senegalese Skatalites. Perfect African pop, indeed.
© Nigel Williamson/Songlines magazine
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 24 December 2007
While production standards on this latest offering are very high, I felt that these versions fell short of the scratchy perfection of earlier ones. Cabral, Ndéleng Ndéleng and Sibam are all available on African Classics (aka Classic Titles). Cabral, in particular, misses the lazy elegance of the version from way back when - this one has an altered guitar intro and a faster beat. Having said that, Nijaay is great and I only give this album four stars rather than five because of the outstanding quality of Orchestra Baobab's other work.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 18 January 2008
If you've heard them before I don't need to explain why. If you haven't, I can't. Orchestra Baobab is an experience one has to take on ones own. You would think that a bunch of such armature but talented musicians would not be able to go beyond the boundaries of their own town. But here comes the exception, and what an exception it is. Their music is so intoxicating that `professionalism' becomes a dirty word. If you also saw them live you would know what I mean.
The first two recordings made them world famous. Now comes the third recording of a completely new material, and with much more complex arrangement. Barthelemy Attisso's, who is my favourite member of the band, guitar playing is more confident, experiments more and the whole ensemble follows suite. Both Sax take centre stage, and the rest of the group make this recording number one.
Looking forward to number four.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I'm with the Songlines review, this album, amazingly considering these guys are getting on a bit, outdoes 'Specialists in All Styles' (an excellent album in its own right) for its fluidity, musical craftsmanship and overall exuberance. It's so great to hear the sheer vitality of the tracks and arrangements on this, if you ever need to cheer yourself up you need go no further than to chuck this baby in the CD player and mix yourself a mohito (that's enough cliches, Ed.)
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 April 2009
Some of the world's best Latin (or Afro-Latin to be precise) dance music, played by one of the world's best bands.
There again, one could say exactly the same thing about 'Made in Dakar' and 'Specialists in All Styles' too.