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World - Released April 2, 2012 | Because Music

Hi-Res Distinctions Victoire de la musique - Sélection Les Inrocks - Hi-Res Audio
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World - Released November 8, 2004 | Because Music

Distinctions Victoire de la musique - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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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Africa - Released April 22, 2013 | Because Music

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World - Released November 17, 2008 | Because Music

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Africa - Released September 22, 2017 | Because Music

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This time round, no artists involved in the casting of Amadou & Mariam’s eighth studio album are more famous than the couple in charge. No prestigious production by Damon Albarn, Manu Chao or M. There are no flashy featuring by Santigold, Tiken Jah Fakoly or TV On The Radio. With almost two decades of success under their belt, the Malian duo can very well attract attention on their own, while staying faithful to their usual style, straddling between grooves from Bamako and European clubs. To produce La Confusion they gave his chance to Adrien Durand from ethno-futuristic combo Bon Voyage Organisation, who managed to refresh their already effective recipe without removing any of the ingredients that made it successful in the first place. Amadou’s lively guitars and the couple’s notorious vocal harmonies happily slide into arrangements that, with light touches, build sensitive connections between West-African dance music, rock, electro, reggae, funk, Afro-Latino and blues. Whether in French or Bambara, Amadou & Mariam are always mindful of the most urgent issues of their environment and of our time. The title song is about the confusion that seems to dominate our society, C’est chaud talks about exile, Massa Allah implores clergymen to ease people’s minds, and Femmes du monde serves as a eulogy to female wisdom. Their joyful and festive music emerges as the perfect antidote against discouragement and autumn gloom. © BM/Qobuz
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World - Released December 20, 2010 | Because Music

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World - Released June 9, 2017 | Because Music

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World - Released March 9, 2018 | Because Music

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World - Released March 11, 2003 | Circular Moves

If you think Mali is all about the kora or the Super Rail Band, you need to take a listen to Amadou & Mariam, a blind married couple who take Malian music in a whole different direction. They keep to the bluesy, pentatonic root that's the heart of the desert sound of Mali, but bring it toward the West, even letting guitars howl here and there and funking things up with some lovely keyboard work. Amadou & Mariam sing both separately and together (indeed, they're at their strongest together, when the two voices can work off each other on songs like "Chauffeurs"), and they're both strong writers, using rhythm as much as melody for a sound that's remarkably down-home. There's nothing complex about it -- perhaps the Bamako equivalent of a bar band, albeit a very good one. "Sarama," for example, rocks wonderfully and hypnotically, and wouldn't sound out of place in a roadhouse, getting the crowd up and dancing. Perhaps it's because they don't sound especially African in their approach to music -- allowing the roots to be just one part of the whole -- that they haven't received the praise they deserve. ~ Chris Nickson
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World - Released January 9, 2012 | Because Music

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World - Released July 26, 2019 | Because Music

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World - Released September 18, 2004 | Circular Moves

Vintage organ, horns, and funk backbeats give this Malian husband and wife's second U.S. release a different feel than their stateside debut. Still, it's Amadou's slithering guitar leads and Mariam's soaring voice that all but steal the show from the couple's wildly talented band. This is a world music album in the most expansive of senses, proving just how easily a soulful combination of rhythm and notes can communicate across such meager divides as culture, politics, blindness, and language. Highly recommended. ~ Brian Beatty
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World - Released July 4, 2005 | Because Music

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Dance - Released June 7, 2010 | Because Music

Africa - Released January 1, 1992 | MAIKANO

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Electronic/Dance - Released May 18, 2009 | Because Music

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World - Released October 17, 2011 | Because Music

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World - Released June 11, 2013 | Nonesuch