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Amadou & Mariam - Dimanche a Bamako

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Dimanche a Bamako

Amadou & Mariam

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Amadou & Mariam, the blind couple from Mali, have certainly paid their dues over the last 30 years, and it's about time they received their big break. Certainly given the excellent reviews in Europe, Dimanche a Bamako could be it, thanks to the production and participation by the elf prince of world music, Manu Chao. He brings a playful lightness to their soulful, bluesy Malian sound, letting in plenty of sunshine, and drawing in a sense of place through the ambience of traffic sounds and snippets of conversation. Chao is also obviously present on several tracks, such as "Senegal Fast Food," which offers a bouncy, reggae-styled rhythm so typical of Chao's own records. But even when not so obviously asserting himself, his presence is felt in the space he creates, and the use he makes of Mariam's admittedly limited voice (she's good, but no one will ever mistake her for one of the word's greatest singers), as on "Beau Dimanche," for example. Lyrically, this is very much an album of love songs, postcards between the couple, but it never veers into maudlin sentiment. Yet there's also a political edge to it, such as with "La Realite." Even if you don't understand the words, however, the entire disc is an absolute aural joy, poppy enough to be exquisitely memorable, yet with layers of resonance underneath. Likely to be one of the world music albums of 2005, it can hopefully find the kind of wide audience it surely deserves. ~ Chris Nickson

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Dimanche a Bamako

Amadou & Mariam

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1
M' Bife 00:02:11

Amadou & Mariam, interprète

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2
M' Bife Balafon 00:01:58

Amadou & Mariam, interprète

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3
Coulibaly 00:03:18

Amadou & Mariam, interprète

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4
La Réalité 00:03:32

Amadou & Mariam, interprète

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5
Senegal Fast Food 00:04:19

Amadou & Mariam, interprète

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6
Artistiya 00:03:11

Amadou & Mariam, interprète

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7
La Fête au Village 00:04:11

Amadou & Mariam, interprète

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8
Camions Sauvages 00:04:08

Amadou & Mariam, interprète

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9
Beaux Dimanches 00:03:31

Amadou & Mariam, interprète

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10
La Paix 00:04:19

Amadou & Mariam, interprète

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11
Djanfa 00:04:13

Amadou & Mariam, interprète

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12
Taxi Bamako 00:03:44

Amadou & Mariam, interprète

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13
Politic Amagni 00:04:56

Amadou & Mariam, interprète

All Other under exclusive license to Because Music All Other under exclusive license to Because Music

14
Gnidjougouya 00:03:45

Amadou & Mariam, interprète

All Other under exclusive license to Because Music All Other under exclusive license to Because Music

15
M' Bife Blues 00:05:21

Amadou & Mariam, interprète

All Other under exclusive license to Because Music All Other under exclusive license to Because Music

Album Description

Amadou & Mariam, the blind couple from Mali, have certainly paid their dues over the last 30 years, and it's about time they received their big break. Certainly given the excellent reviews in Europe, Dimanche a Bamako could be it, thanks to the production and participation by the elf prince of world music, Manu Chao. He brings a playful lightness to their soulful, bluesy Malian sound, letting in plenty of sunshine, and drawing in a sense of place through the ambience of traffic sounds and snippets of conversation. Chao is also obviously present on several tracks, such as "Senegal Fast Food," which offers a bouncy, reggae-styled rhythm so typical of Chao's own records. But even when not so obviously asserting himself, his presence is felt in the space he creates, and the use he makes of Mariam's admittedly limited voice (she's good, but no one will ever mistake her for one of the word's greatest singers), as on "Beau Dimanche," for example. Lyrically, this is very much an album of love songs, postcards between the couple, but it never veers into maudlin sentiment. Yet there's also a political edge to it, such as with "La Realite." Even if you don't understand the words, however, the entire disc is an absolute aural joy, poppy enough to be exquisitely memorable, yet with layers of resonance underneath. Likely to be one of the world music albums of 2005, it can hopefully find the kind of wide audience it surely deserves. ~ Chris Nickson

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