Amadou & Mariam – Folila

In the beginning musicians Amadou and Mariam were going to make two separate albums.  One filled with a more of a crossover feel to it and one with traditional African music and musicians. Once the songs were recorded the two artists decided to combine the two styles of songs together to make one album. Folila (West African word that means music) is the result of that and is a kind of hybrid music. Their open-mindedness has paid off big time. They have redefined West African Blues (they are from Mali) and now redefined that redefinition. Guest appearances by Jake Shears (Scissor Sisters), Ebony Bones, Theophilus London, Nick Zinner (guitarist of Yeah Yeah Yeahs), and Santigold are sprinkled throughout.  The guests are not there just to bring attention to the album as the two are stars in their own right and don’t need anyone’s help. The guest musicians bring concrete things to the songs.  Nick Zinner’s guitar work plays off nicely against Amadou’s and Ebony Bones’ vocals infuse plenty of energy in the song “C’est Pas Facile Pour les Aigles”. All this adds up to a strong album and the yearning to see where they will bring us next on this global musical voyage.

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