Amadou & Mariam

Soul stirrers

Phases & Stages

Amadou & Mariam

Welcome to Mali (Because Music/Nonesuch)

2005's Dimanche a Bamako percolated more like a mic-check to producer Manu Chao's own La Radiolina than this blind Mali couple's much ballyhooed Western outage, and though Damon Albarn opener "Sabali" swings London, A&M's follow-up bottles their joyous West African boogie. Dancing desert blues refract Parisian pop while still best at home in the title trance, "Africa," and hard-jangled closer "Sekebe."

***.5

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