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World Music CD Reviews Africa

Oumou Sangare

By Chris King
Published August 1, 2005

World Circuit/Nonesuch

Mali’s Oumou Sangare is a fearless, ferocious, compassionate and lyrical performer all at once. Moussolou, named after her home region of Wassolou, was her debut. If it sounds familiar, it’s not only due to its re-release status: Sangare has so much integrity and vision that everything she does constitutes one outgoing and irresistible story. Having made a name for herself as a singer of the youthful, upstart wassoulou style, Sangare uses traditional instruments and accents to push and question that very history. She is, as Moussolou reminds us, one of the most compelling global artists today.