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Aman Iman: Water is Life

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Audio CD, March 20, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

When you hear this music clan -- group just doesn't seem to be the right designation for a band of nomad desert musicians/soldiers –- a listener can hear the calm of the desert night air and the serenity of the musicians who live there. The Taureg people truly seem to be of the land and never more so than here on the band's third album, Aman Iman. The loping percussion and the circular guitar lines conjure wide-open desert images evoked in the repetitive grooves. Some may grumble that the members are playing much as they did on the first and second albums, blending Arabic song structures, desert wails, and primordial blues guitar riffs, but for it to be any different would be akin to asking the people in Tinariwen to change who they are. Never have words been truer than those of the title, but this album also appends that sentiment, proving that music is life for the desert Taureg too. --Tad Hendrickson

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Cler Achel 4:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Mano Dayak 5:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Matadjem Yinmixan 5:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Ahimana 4:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Soixante Trois 4:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Toumast 4:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Imidiwan Winakalin 4:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Awa Didjen 4:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Ikyadarh Dim 3:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Tamatant Tilay 3:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Assouf 3:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Izarharh Tenere 5:02$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 20, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: World Village USA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,522 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 49 people found the following review helpful By doomsdayer520 HALL OF FAME on March 25, 2007
Format: Audio CD
If you're bored with American rockers who like to pretend that they're sticking it to the man, make yourself familiar with the lyrical and musical wonders of Tinariwen. Made up of former freedom fighters in the quest for the independence of the Touareg people from the colonialist regimes of North Africa, the musicians of Tinariwen possess a true revolutionary wisdom that Americans can only dream about, as they really have been persecuted by the authorities in their home country of Mali. Tinariwen also has a very unique musical history. Legend has it that early in their history as a band, the musicians happened to come across a stash of old blues records and dilapidated electric guitars, all of which had been unknown in their country. Tinariwen has combined a unique interpretation of the blues, homegrown guitar and bass techniques, and the traditional music of the Touareg people - thus creating a relentlessly fascinating sound that is as sparse and haunting as the immense Saharan landscape in which they dwell.

The liner notes for this album state that many of the songs were written over Tinariwen's 25-year history. Since they were not able to record professional-quality releases until recent years, it appears that Tinariwen has spread this extensive backlog across their recent releases. Therefore, this album sounds very similar to Tinariwen's last album, the equally fascinating Amassakoul. But rest assured that more is definitely better in the case of this band's equally exotic and accessible music. Established fans will especially appreciate the songs on this album that illustrate Tinariwen's effortless ability to branch out and expand their vision.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By popculturemaven on May 12, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Tinariwen has often been described as "John Lee Hooker in the Sahara." While that baseline is a decent enough introduction, it's not nearly enough to embrace this band. This album follows Amassakoul, my first Tinariwen CD, and Aman Iman surpasses Amassakoul in every way. Depending on your mood, the music is soothing, hypnotic, challenging and stirring. The variations worked on repetitive figures reward repeated listening. If you haven't heard Tinariwen, Aman Iman is a great place to start.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By latejazzlover on April 26, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This startlingly bluesy album reflects the sharper focus their sound has recently achieved. Guitars underpin everything, with solo voices rising out in defiance or exaltation: the opening homage to a freedom fighter killed in 1995 is marvellously eloquent, as are the appeals for peace and the hope for a future return to the homeland.
With many of the tracks recorded in the open air at night in the desert, this is an album with a rugged, epic atmosphere all of its own.
Is this to be the band that punches through the glass ceiling that has kept world music out of the mainstream? "Yes!" shout its supporters. And since its "discovery" six years ago, this group of one-time Touareg guerrilla fighters has deservedly risen to the top of the world music charts.
The liner notes honour their subject-matter by not only giving the full lyrics both in translation and in the vernacular, but also making a stab at rendering them in the ancient Touareg alphabet. The sound is beautifully mastered.The mainstream should be so lucky.
Rokku Mi Rokka
Segu Blue
The Mande Variations
The Garifuna Women's Project
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chris Dunlap on April 15, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Aman Iman: Water is Life is simply outstanding. As a long-time world music fan, the label these guys have earned in world music circles as somewhat of a "gateway group" to international artists made me suspect, but from the first bars of Cler Achel my circumspection turned to instant fandom. As other reviewers have noted, the irrepressible beats of these nomadic musicians are infectious yet invite contemplation. The other day, driving down the highway, Assouf (track 11) came on. I probably listened to the first minute about 10 times. It sneaks up on you; its beat is slower than most of the other tracks, and a distorted guitar somewhere between Ali Farka Toure, Santana, and Jimi Hendrix shatters the building percussion in an indescribable way. This is one of the few albums I can have on loop and not mind, since every new trip through the album is a journey into their stark nomadic environment. Buy this album, ye who wish to try world music for the first time and ye who are experienced fans of international tunes alike; I virtually assure complete satisfaction with the complex mix of influences that Tinariwen blend almost seamlessly.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By James Harrison on March 12, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This recording, by a group of Toureg musicians from Mali in North Africa, is the most refreshing music I have heard for a long time. Certainly a blues album but not from the Delta, Chicago or even North America at all ,rather from the African desert, yet there are other strong influences-the loping Arabic rhythms, hypnotic melodies,and a very "open" sound.

I cannot understand the vocals but this matters little as the music is universal and magic.The quality of the musicians and the recording engineers are first class with production techniques kept to a minimum.

If you like blues, jazz, or musicians such as Ry Cooder you will welcome this fresh sounding, unadulterated record into your collection.
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