Dakar - Kingston
Released: Jun 2011
Several decades into his career, one of the world's best-known Afropop stars has released… a reggae album. N'Dour has long been praised (and criticized) for his crossover moves, but Dakar-Kingston feels more fluid and less forced than a mere crass attempt to reach the widest audience. Reggae and Afropop are, of course, musical relatives. With a few clunkier exceptions (like heavy-handed opener "Marley"), N'Dour gracefully sketches that family tree, carefully layering reggae's dubby beats and chunky guitars with delicate marimbas, rolling drums and bits of Afrobeat funk.