I bought this to replace a copy I'd had for several years. Can't live without this CD! Youssou n'Dour's is the only voice I can listen to when I'm down, or angry, or fed up, or don't want to listen to anything much. He just has a way about him... Pure therapy.
OK, this album does have flaws, notably the two pretty awful tracks where N'Dour unwisely accepts 'help' from Wyclef Jean, but the rest of it not only works well but is, in places, simply breathtaking. 'Wiri' is a superb opener with an infectious rhythmn that will be bouncing around in your head all day within no time while the second track, 'Birimi' is my favourite on the disc. Wonderful female backing vocals support a brilliantly chant like chorus and the whole effect is just sublime. It's only fault is that it is about 5 minutes too short! Of the other highlights 'My Hope is in You' is a wonderfully uplifting song of N'Dour's faith in the youth of the world, 'Don't Walk Away' (with Sting) is a beautiful guitar based song where N'Dours voice is at it's very best, and 'She Doesn't Need To Fall', another wonderful showpiece for N'Dours vocal genius. Other tracks such as 'Yama', 'Red Clay' and 'Beykat' are also excellent, as is the collaboration with Peter Gabriel, 'This Dream', which actually works well. Fortunately the cd does not end with the ghastly Wyclef remix of 'Birima' and suitable use of the Fast Forward control takes you to the last track, 'New Africa', a near perfect, simple folk like plea from N'Dour for all of Africa to work together and forget their divisions, just his voice over a synth - absolutely stunning. I may have to listen to this album every day until I'm old and grey (Wyclef tracks excepted).
This is a magnificent C.D. The best he has done yet! In the same way that Nelson Mandela is the yardstick for every African Politician, Youssou N'Dour is the yardstick for every African Musician. As a singer he is unique, as he has both a very powerful voice, and a very wide vocal range. This is a selection of some wonderfully crafted songs, maybe a bit more popish than his usual offerings, but great nevertheless. Nearly every track is very good, and also there are a few exceptional tracks e.g. Birima. The musicianship and production on many African artists work often does not do justice to the beauty of their work, possibly due to the financial constraints, however it does on this C.D. Anybody interested in listening to African music for the first time, must buy this C.D. Anybody who is an African music lover will have this C.D.