Welcome to Mali (Exclusive)
Released: Nov 2008
Freed from the friendly (if spastic) tyranny of Manu Chao, Amadou and Mariam spread their wings on this follow-up to 2005's hugely successful Dimanche a Bamako. With unlimited resources (and collaborators, apparently), the duo adds subtle niceties of Western pop to their African blues, smoothing down the rough edges of their rolling, hypnotic, call-and-response music. Of the two, Amadou remains the superior singer, his voice and guitar both warm and enveloping instruments. Check out the Damon Albarn-produced "Sabali."