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Category Archive for 'World Music'

Habib Koité: Soô

“Among the constellation of extraordinary musicians from Mali on the scene today, Habib Koité stands out for his unerring melodic instinct and the sense of intimacy that his songs carry. ‘Soô’ upholds this standard, with interesting innovations….The songs speak of social issues, friendship, love, and nationhood: Mali is recovering from two years of political and [...]

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Ana Moura: Desfado

“Ana Moura is one of Portugal’s finest fado singers, celebrated for her passionate style and her exploration of both traditional and so-called musical fado, in which a wider set of songs are treated to a fado setting; one of her best live songs is the Rolling Stones’ No Expectations.” –The Guardian Check Our Catalog

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“Boogarins were in high school when they recorded their debut, and they spend its duration lightly teasing every record in their collections, reproducing it note-perfect faithfully while tweaking its nose….That they assembled an album that sounds this good while working in their parent’s basements says a lot about their talent. They have good taste in other people’s records, [...]

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Vieux Farka Touré: Mon Pays

“Mon Pays is an album of great complexity, expressing joy, sorrow, and wonderment….Whatever the outcome for the people of Mali, the rest of the world should feel fortunate to have access to music like this.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Robi Draco Rosa: Esto Es + Vida

“This is a fantastic album to get to know the music of Draco if you are not a Draco follower. It brings together some of the best voices in Latin music to sing duets of his hand-picked songs.” –Latino Music Cafe Check Our Catalog

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“On Beautiful Africa, Malian songwriter and guitar slinger Rokia Traoré unleashes the fiery rocker she’s been nurturing since her teens….While Beautiful Africa is her most ‘commercial’ recording — as in, friendly to Western audiences — it nonetheless follows directly the explorations her music has articulated from the beginning. It feels like a natural step, consequently [...]

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Gipsy Kings: Savor Flamenco

“It has been seven long years since France’s groundbreaking Gipsy Kings have issued a recording of new material. Savor Flamenco, the group’s debut for Knitting Factory, still features the band’s original lineup of two groups of brothers… with guest players filling out the cast….Savor Flamenco marks a welcome return for the progenitors of nuevo flamenco.” [...]

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Vanessa Paradis: Love Songs

“[T]his is the very first Paradis record where she sounds like a full partner with her producer rather than the singer he illuminates. While she doesn’t leave pop behind here, she pushes its envelope — and her own — attaining a diversity that we couldn’t have imagined from her previously.” –All Music Guide Check Our [...]

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Femi Kuti: No Place For My Dream

“Besides the slamming tunes, another notable thing about No Place for My Dream is the way Femi mirrors his father’s musical innovation. Where the elder Kuti brought other musics into the one he was creating as a new language for liberation, Femi uses Afro-beat as the jumping-off point that explores and connects other sounds to [...]

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Carla Morrison: Déjenme Llorar

“Raised on a diet of Patsy Cline and Jose Alfredo Jimenez in Tecate, Baja, California, Latin Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter/indie pop singer Carla Morrison played in numerous rock bands before striking out on her own in 2009…” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“While traditional bubu is played on bamboo flutes, metal pipes, and percussion instruments, Nabay’s brand is pure 21st century dance music… En Yay Sah is easily the most auspicious — and original — debut album of 2012.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“It’s been 15 years since American-Celtic folk-pop outfit Gaelic Storm first appeared on the public radar as the rowdy steerage band in James Cameron’s Titanic. Nine albums in, and the band’s still hosting its own private dance party, successfully fusing Irish and Scottish traditional music, contemporary folk-pop, and worldbeat into a whirlwind of sound that’s [...]

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Debo Band:

“Boston’s Debo Band takes inspiration from a golden era of popular music in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in the late ’60s and early ’70s. During a brief period of cultural freedom in Ethiopia, funk and soul music fused spectacularly with local traditions… Given their energy and talent, these musicians have room to grow, and there’s no [...]

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“Ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro has taken the four-string, two-octave instrument to places no one could have imagined, ranging freely across the music spectrum from jazz, blues, and funk to bluegrass, classical, and folk with the ease of a musician fully in command of the possibilities of his chosen instrument.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Amadou & Miriam: Folila

“On 2012′s Folila (which translates as ‘music’ in Bambara), Mali’s famed Amadou & Mariam, the husband-and-wife duo, effortlessly prove that ‘purist’ alarm calls about melding popular and traditional musics across geographies because they dilute authenticity are not only inherently false, but their motivations are suspect… Forget prejudices about ‘world music’; Folila is great music. Period.” [...]

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“Gagner l’argent Francais (which translates as ‘to earn French money’) begins, like any other West-targeted West African album, with the pitter-patter of tiny congas and some delicately picked kora. But then, two minutes in, a bright stab of reverb-heavy keyboard heralds the entrance of grungy rock guitar and drums. It’s a bold way to open [...]

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“[T]he album’s mix of classic sounds from across West Africa — palm wine, highlife, soukous, Afrobeat — alongside reggae, dub, and traditional Goombay drums and chants, harks back to the band members’ memories from before the war, and beyond that, to the country’s unique role in African history… It’s the strongest album yet from a [...]

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The Chieftains: Voice of Ages

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