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Oumou Sangare|Timbuktu

Timbuktu

Oumou Sangare

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As far as "lockdown albums" go, Oumou Sangaré definitely did not go for the "stuck at home with the curtains drawn" vibe. Instead, in a true lemonade-from-lemons move, the Malian singer took the unusual circumstances she found herself in—stuck in the U.S., unable to travel home—and literally made the most of it. Not only did she end up purchasing a house in Baltimore, but she used that very home to write and refine the bulk of Timbuktu. Alongside longtime collaborator Mamadou Sidibé—whose dextrous playing of the kamele n’goni provides a gritty foil for Sangaré's mellifluous singing—the African legend penned nearly a dozen propulsive and poetic songs that veer between optimism, love, and frustration, but never get bogged down in melancholia. Sangaré (and Sidibé) have crafted in Timbuktu an album that's remarkably versatile and exploratory in tone, and whether or not the ambitiousness of the approach was due to the conditions of its genesis or simply the logical result of her four decades of exceptional music-making, the range of expression here is impressive. Gentle and nearly-spare numbers like "Degui N'Kelena" (where the primary interplay is between Sangaré's multi-tracked vocals and Sidibé's stunning fretwork) sit right alongside expansive and dynamic pieces like "Sira," that are as driving and melodic as they are explicitly beautiful. And, while it may have been conceived and revised in relative isolation, most of Timbuktu's songs are filled with an energy like the bouncy, near-funky vibe of "Sarama," whose complex rhythms jell with an easy groove and Sangaré's richly expressive voice. The album rarely delves into pensive atmospheres, but when it does, as in the closing notes of "Sabou Dogoné," the moment of quiet reflection is poignant and potent, with just Sangaré's powerful voice gliding atop a simple, but ethereal arrangement of delicate choral figures and ambient filigree. It's a beautiful closure on an engaging and commanding album that's far more dynamic and far-reaching than the circumstances that led to its creation. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz

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Timbuktu

Oumou Sangare

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1
Wassulu Don
00:03:38

Laurent Vernerey, Bass - Oumou Sangare, Composer, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Dick Beetham, Engineer - Baptiste Brondy, Percussion - Emma Lamadji, Backing Vocals - Eliéser Oubda, Engineer - Mamadou Sidibé, Backing Vocals - Nicolas Quéré, Producer, Engineer - Pascal Danaë, Producer, Guitar, Percussion, Backing Vocals

© 2022 Oumou Sangaré under exclusive licence to World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company' ℗ 2022 Oumou Sangaré under exclusive licence to World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

2
Sira
00:02:57

Laurent Vernerey, Bass - Oumou Sangare, Composer, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Dick Beetham, Engineer - Baptiste Brondy, Percussion - Eliéser Oubda, Engineer - Mamadou Sidibé, Backing Vocals - Nicolas Quéré, Producer, Engineer, Moog - Pascal Danaë, Producer, Slide Guitar, Piano

© 2022 Oumou Sangaré under exclusive licence to World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company' ℗ 2022 Oumou Sangaré under exclusive licence to World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

3
Degui N'Kelena
00:03:54

Laurent Vernerey, Bass - Oumou Sangare, Composer, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Dick Beetham, Engineer - Emma Lamadji, Backing Vocals - Eliéser Oubda, Engineer - Mamadou Sidibé, Composer, Backing Vocals, Writer - Nicolas Quéré, Producer, Engineer, Piano - Pascal Danaë, Producer, Guitar - Diarra Moussa Saifal, Flute

© 2022 Oumou Sangaré under exclusive licence to World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company' ℗ 2022 Oumou Sangaré under exclusive licence to World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

4
Gniani Sara
00:03:43

Laurent Vernerey, Bass - Oumou Sangare, Composer, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Dick Beetham, Engineer - Baptiste Brondy, Drums - Emma Lamadji, Backing Vocals - Eliéser Oubda, Engineer - Mamadou Sidibé, Percussion - Nicolas Quéré, Producer, Clarinet, Engineer, Keyboards, Piano - Pascal Danaë, Producer, Slide Guitar, Piano

© 2022 Oumou Sangaré under exclusive licence to World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company' ℗ 2022 Oumou Sangaré under exclusive licence to World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

5
Timbuktu
00:03:42

Laurent Vernerey, Bass - Oumou Sangare, Composer, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Dick Beetham, Engineer - Baptiste Brondy, Percussion - Eliéser Oubda, Engineer - Mamadou Sidibé, Composer, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Writer - Nicolas Quéré, Producer, Clarinet, Engineer, Piano - Pascal Danaë, Producer, Slide Guitar

© 2022 Oumou Sangaré under exclusive licence to World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company' ℗ 2022 Oumou Sangaré under exclusive licence to World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

6
Sarama
00:03:38

Laurent Vernerey, Bass - Oumou Sangare, Composer, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Dick Beetham, Engineer - Baptiste Brondy, Drums, Percussion - Emma Lamadji, Backing Vocals - Rob Coltun, Guitar - Eliéser Oubda, Engineer - Mamadou Sidibé, Percussion - Nicolas Quéré, Producer, Engineer, Percussion - Pascal Danaë, Producer, Guitar, Percussion - Adama Diara, Djembe Drums

© 2022 Oumou Sangaré under exclusive licence to World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company' ℗ 2022 Oumou Sangaré under exclusive licence to World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

7
Kanou
00:04:00

William Calhoun, Percussion - Laurent Vernerey, Bass - Oumou Sangare, Composer, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Dick Beetham, Engineer - Emma Lamadji, Backing Vocals - Eliéser Oubda, Engineer - Mamadou Sidibé, Composer, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Writer - Nicolas Quéré, Producer, Engineer, Keyboards, Percussion - Pascal Danaë, Producer, Guitar, Slide Guitar, Keyboards - Cheick Diabata, Banjo

© 2022 Oumou Sangaré under exclusive licence to World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company' ℗ 2022 Oumou Sangaré under exclusive licence to World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

8
Demissimw
00:04:27

Laurent Vernerey, Bass - Oumou Sangare, Composer, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Dick Beetham, Engineer - Emma Lamadji, Backing Vocals - Michael Coltun, Bass - Eliéser Oubda, Engineer - Nicolas Quéré, Producer, Engineer - Pascal Danaë, Producer, Guitar, Slide Guitar - David Coltun, Violin

© 2022 Oumou Sangaré under exclusive licence to World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company' ℗ 2022 Oumou Sangaré under exclusive licence to World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

9
Kêlê Magni
00:03:35

Laurent Vernerey, Bass - Oumou Sangare, Composer, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Dick Beetham, Engineer - Baptiste Brondy, Percussion - Emma Lamadji, Backing Vocals - Eliéser Oubda, Engineer - Mamadou Sidibé, Percussion, Backing Vocals - Nicolas Quéré, Producer, Engineer, Keyboards - Pascal Danaë, Producer, Guitar, Slide Guitar, Moog - Adama Diara, Djembe Drums - Bala Kouyate, Balafon Percussion

© 2022 Oumou Sangaré under exclusive licence to World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company' ℗ 2022 Oumou Sangaré under exclusive licence to World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

10
Dily Oumou
00:04:32

Oumou Sangare, Composer, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Dick Beetham, Engineer - Emma Lamadji, Backing Vocals - Abou Diarra, Percussion - Eliéser Oubda, Engineer - Mamadou Sidibé, Keyboards, Percussion - Nicolas Quéré, Producer, Engineer, Keyboards - Pascal Danaë, Producer, Slide Guitar

© 2022 Oumou Sangaré under exclusive licence to World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company' ℗ 2022 Oumou Sangaré under exclusive licence to World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

11
Sabou Dogoné
00:03:46

Traditional, Composer - Oumou Sangare, Arranger, MainArtist - Dick Beetham, Engineer - Eliéser Oubda, Engineer, Keyboards - Nicolas Quéré, Producer, Engineer, Keyboards - Pascal Danaë, Producer

© 2022 Oumou Sangaré under exclusive licence to World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company' ℗ 2022 Oumou Sangaré under exclusive licence to World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

Album Description

As far as "lockdown albums" go, Oumou Sangaré definitely did not go for the "stuck at home with the curtains drawn" vibe. Instead, in a true lemonade-from-lemons move, the Malian singer took the unusual circumstances she found herself in—stuck in the U.S., unable to travel home—and literally made the most of it. Not only did she end up purchasing a house in Baltimore, but she used that very home to write and refine the bulk of Timbuktu. Alongside longtime collaborator Mamadou Sidibé—whose dextrous playing of the kamele n’goni provides a gritty foil for Sangaré's mellifluous singing—the African legend penned nearly a dozen propulsive and poetic songs that veer between optimism, love, and frustration, but never get bogged down in melancholia. Sangaré (and Sidibé) have crafted in Timbuktu an album that's remarkably versatile and exploratory in tone, and whether or not the ambitiousness of the approach was due to the conditions of its genesis or simply the logical result of her four decades of exceptional music-making, the range of expression here is impressive. Gentle and nearly-spare numbers like "Degui N'Kelena" (where the primary interplay is between Sangaré's multi-tracked vocals and Sidibé's stunning fretwork) sit right alongside expansive and dynamic pieces like "Sira," that are as driving and melodic as they are explicitly beautiful. And, while it may have been conceived and revised in relative isolation, most of Timbuktu's songs are filled with an energy like the bouncy, near-funky vibe of "Sarama," whose complex rhythms jell with an easy groove and Sangaré's richly expressive voice. The album rarely delves into pensive atmospheres, but when it does, as in the closing notes of "Sabou Dogoné," the moment of quiet reflection is poignant and potent, with just Sangaré's powerful voice gliding atop a simple, but ethereal arrangement of delicate choral figures and ambient filigree. It's a beautiful closure on an engaging and commanding album that's far more dynamic and far-reaching than the circumstances that led to its creation. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz

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