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Seya by Oumou Sangare
Released: Jun 2009
Label: Nonesuch
Oumou Sangare didn't have to pull out all the stops to make this album an event; outspoken, feminist, only 41 years old, Mali's great female singer seldom disappoints. Even so, on Seya, surrounded by broad talents like Pee Wee Ellis, Tony Allen and about 50 other musicians, she still pushes herself, stretching her voice and liberating her songs from the creeping sameness from which they periodically suffered in the past. Seya provides further proof (as if we needed any) that Mali's musical renaissance continues, cradled in the hands of its reigning queen.
Sarah Bardeen

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