Friday, November 28, 2008

Oumou Sangare – Seya (single)

Is it really twelve years since the Songbird of Wassoulou's last studio album? Incredible as it seems, I think it is, and although we've been witness to some great concert performances by this most exhilarating of performers in the meantime - not to mention a 2004 retrospective of the lady's work that is one of the essential single artist compilations of the decade - the imminent CD (to be released in February 2009) feels well overdue (from a Western perspective, that is. In Mali, she has continued to release new cassettes). So what can we expect, judging by the teasing release of this single and title-track? Well, producer Nick Gold is once again at the helm, so we have a gritty, as-live sound. Cheikh Tidiane Seck's involved as well, so a tingling mesh of traditional instruments is laid over a lush, funky back-beat. And Oumou's in fine soulful form, that familiar honeysuckle voice rolling over infectious pentatonic rhythms and vivid female backing harmonies. This single is full of such vibrant, seductive appeal that mainstream radio stations such as BBC 6 are already on the case. February can't come soon enough.

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