The Senegalese superstar Youssou N'Dour has been one of the most popular world beat artists for years, and he's worked with a bunch of pop stars, from Paul Simon to Peter Gabriel. This recording, featuring N'Dour's mbalax mix of his native Wolof language, Western instruments, and jazz, West Indian, and rock genres, won't let down his worldwide legion of fans. Backed by Jimi Mbaye's Afro-pop guitar strains, N'Dour's gift for storytelling comes from his griot legacy, and it blends well with his spellbinding genius as a performer. Whether he's running it down on the Afro-Islamic "Moor Ndaje" or telling the story of "Bird" in English, Youssou N'Dour communicates through the universal language of dance and trance. --Eugene Holley Jr.