Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Youssou N"Dour - Lii! (1996)

Many of the Africans who become international superstars do so by fusing their indigenous music with transnational pop flavors, and then producing albums designed to reach a broad global audience. Certainly both Youssou N'Dour and Baaba Maal from Senegal, as well as Congo's Papa Wemba, have made albums so mainstream and removed from the music that established their careers, that some fans are alienated.

Thankfully most of these stars continue producing albums for their home markets that carry the great strengths that propelled these artists to fame. This cassette from Youssou N'Dour et le Super Etoile is a Jololi release from Senegal that reflects the band's sophisticated polish, yet mostly retains a tough mbalax edge. The laid-back version of Youssou's great song "Birima" is a treat, as is "Baïkat."

The sound quality of this cassette is not perfect; in fact I could not get the last song to successfully play more than a few seconds. Perhaps it's just as well: it is a soppy duet with Italian crooner Messimo Di Cataldo that may have changed the whole premise of this short introduction, if I had had to listen to it. Take a listen to the rest of it: you should not be disappointed.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much.

This blog is beginning to have very good looking, in these tense times fresh foods nourish the soul.

I really like these Youssou jobs without so much overproduction.

To celebrate I've uploaded a video clip of Lii, the image is bad quality,but you can glimpse some sublime beauty.

Rhythm Connection said...

Gracias, Ngoni. Thanks for visiting, and for the link to the video, which was a pleasure.

wijnand schouten said...

Thank you for all the beautiful music and your work on it. Greetings