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Their latest disc is an intoxicating blend of West African traditional sounds and a more European-style beat consciousness. The latter is due primarily to their association with Manu Chao, the eclectic French-Latin alternative music star, who helped with production duties. Both Amadou and Mariam are pleasing vocalists who perform the mostly French lyrics with aplomb. Several tracks showcase their melding beautifully - "La Fête Au Village" and "Beaux Dimanches" (with its mournful trumpet) have actual village sounds providing the background to the rhythmic music, and with its slightly dated siren samples and heavy use of organ, "La Réalité" has a reggae flavor that casts a spell. The harmonies, however, often take a backseat to Amadou's dexterous skill as a guitarist, especially as he attacks Dick Dale-style on the introduction to "Coulibaly" and strums sweetly on "Politic Amagni".Read more ›
I don't mean moderately happy, 7.5 on a scale of 10, isn't it a great day happy, kind of sort of happy.
I mean ecstatic, get up and dance happy, throw caution to the winds and kiss a stranger happy, pump up the volume and wake your neighbors happy, see yourself realizing all your dreams happy.
That happiness is commercially available. It's even legal. You can get a preview of it by jumping on the video of "La Realite" (below). You can just trust me that this is a CD you absolutely cannot go on living without and click and have these sounds for your very own in a matter of days. Or, if you are weary of hype, you can resist until I Make the Case.
Okay, here's the case:
Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia are from Mali. They met in the 1970s, married in 1980 and started performing together. Like their fellow musicians from Mali --- I'm thinking of Ali Farka Toure and Boubacar Traore --- they started with their country's version of the blues. Along the way, they went international and borrowed from cultures as diverse as Cuba and France. And they became very popular indeed.
Small fact: They're blind. Both of them. And possessed of the unusual joy that is the special province of some of the unsighted (see Jacques Lusseyran's jaw-dropping World War II memoir, And There Was Light).
In 2003, Amadou and Mariam hooked up with Manu Chao. This is major, for Chao is a world music god everywhere but in America. The reason for that is somewhat predictable: Chao is unabashedly political. Many of his lyrics are about poverty and oppression, his music is based on local folk music, and underneath it is usually a bouncy punk beat.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Accidentally discovered, while listening friends playlist. Thank god:)Published 6 months ago by Beach Boy
Amadou & Mariam, a Malian couple, had been making music for decades prior to this album. Amadou is a talented blues guitarist and both of them are singers. Read morePublished on May 21, 2014 by islander
love,love,love it. makes you want to dance and feel just plain happy. I listen to cuban music with my grandbaby and we cha,cha,cha all over the house and now we've got this to move... Read morePublished on January 20, 2014 by Kathleen Kelley Davis
This is my favorite album of Amadou ans Mariam, produced by Manu Chao, the great spanish musician, it is simply exquisite.Published on January 15, 2014 by Marco Pennacchini
Amadou and Mariam create songs which mix upbeat African music with the charm of French chansons. If you like both you are in for a treat.Published on December 9, 2013 by Govert W. Schuller
INITIAL REVIEW: Be forewarned: if you want to learn more about Malian music and listen to amazing duo Amadou and Mariam, look elsewhere! This is not really their music. Read morePublished on January 24, 2012 by lademoiselle
Excellent music that will elevate your mood every time. Why can't any stateside music make you feel half as good? Read morePublished on May 3, 2011 by Amazon Customer