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Digital Booklet: Beautiful Africa
Digital Booklet: Beautiful Africa
Beautiful Africa is the fifth studio album from Malian singer and musician Rokia Traoré.
Top Customer Reviews
voice. It demands instant attention with its rich, slightly raspy vibrato
and smokey tone. John Parish (long time collaborator with P J Harvey)
is a terrific choice of producer for her collection of nine new songs.
The stage he sets is uncluttered and transparent. Ms Traore's authoritative
performances sit comfortably at the heart of these deliciously limpid
arrangements for jangly guitars, crisp percussion and tight backing vocals.
Things kick off wonderfully well with the slinky groove of 'Lalla', a
laid-back but upbeat confection full of silver, mercurial guitar lines
and the trembling words packed in tight together like sardines in a tin.
'Sikey', too, rattles along gamely on the back of some devilishly tricky beats
and sharply pointed harmonic punctuation marks. 'Ka Moun Ke' delivers
some of the project's prettiest and most affecting melodic ideas and the
stripped-down, almost minimalist, rhythmic structure of 'N'Teri' provides a
platform for Ms Traore's voice to burn with quiet intensity and beautifully
restrained passion. It is perhaps her finest moment in this engaging work.
Simplicity, economy and not a little magic combine to make 'Beautiful Africa'
one of the loveliest recordings we will be lucky enough to befriend this year.
Generally this is a wonderful step for a very independent singer songwriter. The ngoni provides the most obvious link to traditional Malian music with some great drumming by the big haired one from Polar Bear - he never overpowers things, leaving lots of space but can fire it out every now and then, when needed. There are some delicate backing vocals, good bass and pleasingly subtle electric guitars.
The last time I saw Rokia live it was a pretty disastrous occasion with Rokia getting close to becoming some kind of African variety act playing Fela Kuti and Miriam Makeba covers. Luckily this album is a much more complex and nuanced listen. Whether you've come from listening to Malian music or if you've stumbled across her from the John Parish and Sebastian Rochford side I think this is going to work for everyone. It's a Really good album. I recommend all Rokia's previous albums - start with her last release Tchamantche for a similar vibe and work your way back. Don't miss the collaboration with the Kronos Quartet on Bowmboi.
This album is magic, the first time I listened it I was driving through England but I did actually travelled trough Africa.
I've just discovered her voice with Mouneissa and I quickly bought the others albums.
Her first album have the power to clutch to one's soul, and from there to "Beautiful Africa" is a crescendo of inspirational power.
Is a shame that Bowmboi is not available in the UK in MP3 format.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lovely music and an amazing voice. A great album to add to my eclectic collection. It has great rhythms and a real feel of African music.Published on 30 Nov. 2013 by L. F. Haywrd
I heard Rokia Traore on BBC women's hour - this prompted me to buy this album, and it is wonderful.Published on 17 Nov. 2013 by michelle spry
Very good album, but see her live; she's an artist - Kouma is powerful - and great lyrics (english translation with CD))Published on 10 Aug. 2013 by Macmcp
I like the music, the warmth in Rokia's voice! I hope to see her in concert this summer in LondonPublished on 4 July 2013 by H. D. Martin Kayondo