Fatoumata Diawara
Fenfo - Something To Say

  1x LP 160 gr.33rpm +bonus CD  

2018 EU issue on 160g LP+ bonus CD - Fatoumata Diawara established her reputation as one of the finest, most inventive female singers in Mali on the strength of her remarkable debut album, Fatou, recorded seven years ago. She has since been involved in a

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Release date: 24-05-2018

2018 EU issue on 160g LP+ bonus CD - Fatoumata Diawara established her reputation as one of the finest, most inventive female singers in Mali on the strength of her remarkable debut album, Fatou, recorded seven years ago. She has since been involved in a variety of projects, including collaborations with Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca, and with fellow Malians Amadou & Mariam and Oumou Sangaré.

And now, at last, comes her second solo album. Fenfo – which translates as “something to say” – is a classy affair that demonstrates her impressive musical range while leaving open the question of whether she has yet to substantiate her own distinctive musical identity. The album sees her in powerful voice covering a variety of styles, surrounded by a distinguished band. On her first album, the musicians included Toumani Diabaté, and here the cast includes his kora-playing son Sidiki, along with the French star Matthieu Chedid and that remarkable cellist Vincent Ségal.

Her voice is more soulful and expressive than on her debut, and the songs range from cool, melodic Afro-pop to the gently bluesy Mama, the stomping funk of Negue Negue, and the charming acoustic guitar and cello duet that ends the set. It may be aimed at the international crossover market, but even at its most commercial this is an album that succeeds. And the lyrics – mostly in Bambara, with the occasional burst of English – tackle everything from migration to African identity and demands to end the ban on marriages between different ethnic groups. I suspect that Diawara will produce more adventurous work in the future, but this is an entertaining and welcome return.

Tracks:
A1 Nterini
A2 Kokoro
A3 Ou Y' An Ye
A4 Kanou Dan Yen
A5 Fenfo

B1 Negue Negue
B2 Mama
B3 Takamba
B4 Bonya
B5 Dibi Bo
B6 Don Do

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