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Rough Guide to Youssou N'Dour & Etoile De Dakar
Youssou N'Dour, Etoile De Dakar
Rough Guide to Youssou N'Dour & Etoile De Dakar
Genres: World Music, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

Youssou N'Dour is Senegal's most famous singer-composer, a powerhouse who has long since become an international icon. His meteoric rise in the West was partly the result of Peter Gabriel's ardent sponsorship, plus a serie...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Youssou N'Dour, Etoile De Dakar
Title: Rough Guide to Youssou N'Dour & Etoile De Dakar
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: World Music Network
Original Release Date: 1/1/2002
Re-Release Date: 8/26/2002
Genres: World Music, Pop
Style: Africa
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 605633110920

Synopsis

Amazon.com
Youssou N'Dour is Senegal's most famous singer-composer, a powerhouse who has long since become an international icon. His meteoric rise in the West was partly the result of Peter Gabriel's ardent sponsorship, plus a series of high-profile collaborations, like "Seven Seconds," his best-selling duet with Neneh Cherry. However, it is likely that his undeniable genius and charisma would have taken him just as far had he traveled solo. On this strikingly well-coordinated retrospective, the youthful bandleader of Etoile de Dakar is captured in the throes of burnishing and refining a synthesis of bubbling Wolof polyrhythms and lightly applied Latin influences that he called Mbalax. Youssou's piercing, filigreed vocals are supported by tinny, mellow electric guitars, explosive batteries of talking drums, brash horns, and elaborate backup singing. His lyrics were still based on praise-singing, but his revolutionary sound united fans from all backgrounds, thus striking a decisive blow against class prejudice. --Christina Roden

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CD Reviews

Historic and alluring modern Senegalese pop
Joe Sixpack -- Slipcue.com | ...in Middle America | 11/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A perfect overview of the band that brought Senegalese superstar Youssou N'Dour into the international spotlight. There's a wide variety of styles, ranging from more acoustic and traditional-sounding material, to expansive, hypnotic electric guitar tunes that are closer to the lushly produced, lavish pop that N'Dour makes nowadays. Anyone interested in African pop owes it to themselves to check this disc out; it may open up a whole new world of sound for you!"
Authentically Senegalese music that creates a mood of festiv
Christopher Culver | 10/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As a fan of indigenous musical traditions and a traveler who dreams of reaching Senegal, I've long heard of Youssou N'Dour. However, I was nervous about approaching his music, because so much of his output has consisted of crossover efforts with foreign singers that just seemed gimmicky. Luckily, we have this Rough Guides CD. It brings together several recordings from the late 1970s and early 1980s that have Youssou singing with the legendary ensemble Etoile de Dakar, before the singer made his big break internationally.

Youssou N'Dour's genre is called mbalax, created when traditional Senegalese rhythms were wed to jazz and rock instruments coming from over the Atlantic. Over engaging beats float refrains of guitar and horns, and Youssou sings at the higher end of the tenor range. There's a great variety of material here, ranging from the fast and engaging "Thiapathioly" and "Youssou" to the slow and elegaic "Jalo". It's obvious that these recordings were taken from old vinyl, but the resulting low-fi sound turns out to be a plus, making the music feel all the warmer.

All in all, this is a fun CD, and highly recommend for anyone who's looking for chillout music with some actual musical substance behind it. My only complaint is that while the booklet gives useful information on the rise of Youssou N'Dour's career, it does not provide the texts of the songs in Wolof and English translation."