Top critical review
11 people found this helpful
on 22 January 2009
The critics are raving about this, and in turn condemning Dimanche á Bamako as somehow vastly inferior for its apparently lush and synthetic presentation. This doesn't really tell the whole story; true Dimanche is a very "produced" and slightly syntheitc record; not dripping edgy and rustic. However it is an album of soundscapes (really evocative, one can imagine the world of the blind somehow, rolling through mali), emotion, and joy. This, however, is, with the exception of the 7th, and final two tracks, joyless, and grating. Even the finer moments come from infusions of rather derivative western music, some of which is frankly barn/pub rock. although good rolling fun, this is far from seminal or inventive, and far from rootsy either.
Worse still, however, are the properly poor fusion moments. A half baked hip-hop effort (really poor from all ends, poor rap, poor music, awful outcome) and a hard-to-see-why english track where it is revealed that the already-limited vocal talents of amadou are even more veiled when in an alien tongue, made worse by the limited vocabulary and frankly trite subject matter. (mariam hasn't learned to sing any better either, but here it gets to grate)
worth admission if you've got no alternative, but this isn't the case, the joys of Mali's old guard, the super rail band (no I'm not making a comparison of the music, just the fervour and fun) are still there for you.
So, the album's not awful but it's fairly close in parts.