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Youssou N'Dour: The Lion

 A l b u m   D e t a i l s

Label: Virgin Records
Released: 1989
Category: World Music
Producer(s): See Artists ...
Rating: *********. (9/10)
Media type: CD
Web address: www.youssou.com
Appears with:
Purchase date: 2001.01.12
Price in €: 6,99

 S o n g s ,   T r a c k s

[1] Lion/Gaïende (Faye/N'Dour) - 5:34
[2] Shakin' the Tree (Gabriel/N'Dour) - 5:42
[3] Kocc Barma (Faye/N'Dour) - 4:28
[4] Bamako (Faye/N'Dour) - 4:19
[5] Truth (Faye/NDour) - 4:05
[6] Old Tucson (Faye/N'Dour) - 5:04
[7] Macoy (Beale/N'Dour) - 7:17
[8] My Daughter ["Sama Doom"] (Faye/N'Dour/Sancious) - 6:38
[9] Bes (Faye/N'Dour) - 5:08

 A r t i s t s ,   P e r s o n n e l

Youssou N'Dour - Vocals, Background Vocals

Peter Gabriel - Piano, Vocals, Background Vocals, Producer, Prophet D50
Kenny Kirkland - Piano
David Sanborn - Sax (Alto)
David Sancious - Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Producer
George Acogny - Flute, Guitar, Percussion, Arranger, Marimba, Vocals, Background Vocals, Producer, Executive Producer, Sequencing
John Barclay - Trumpet
Guy Barker - Trumpet
Pete Beachill - Trumpet
Simon Clark - Organ, Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocals, Keyboard Bass
Alain Ehrlich - Keyboards
Habib Faye - Bass, Flute, Guitar, Keyboards
Manu Katche - Drums
Jimmy M'Vondo M'vele - Tenor Saxophone
David Rhodes - Acoustic & Electric Guitar
Assane Thiam - Talking Drum
Philip Todd - Saxophone
Babacar Faye - Percussion, Tambourine
Rod Beale - Keyboards, Engineer, Mixing
Peter Tholo Segona - Trumpet
Kamil Rustam - Acoustic & Electric Guitar
Aaron Denson - Assistant Engineer, Audio Frame Systems Operator
Aliou Mane - Balafon

Aby N'Dour - Vocals
Dollette McDonald - Vocals, Background Vocals
Tessa Niles - Vocals, Background Vocals
Joniece Jamison - Vocals

David Bottrill - Engineer, Mixing, AMS Audiophile Operator
Hugh Padgham - Engineer, Mixing
Clive Martin - Mixing
Pierre-Antoine Watteau - Assistant Engineer
Philippe Cusset - Assistant Engineer
Richard Chappell - Assistant Engineer, Audio Frame Systems Operator
Thierry Leconte - Assistant Engineer
Sophie Masson - Assistant Engineer
Roger Bolton - Fairlight, CMI
Sheila Rock - Photography
Jenny Cathcart - Translation
Michael Kelly - Translation

 C o m m e n t s ,   N o t e s

This Sengalese singer has risen to international acclaim since he first sang on Peter Gabriel's So, toured as Gabriel's opening act and joined a star-studded cast on the more recent Human Rights Now! Amnesty International tour. On his second Virgin LP, N'Dour showcases his bright, soulful voice (singing mostly in his native Wolof and occasional English), gently wailing and gracefully soaring in front of a musical backdrop that's as atmospheric as it is polyrhythmic, a mix of hushed, ambient textures (both trad African percussion and shiny techno pitter-patter) and joyous, in-the-pocket Afro-pop. N'Dour and his band, Super Etoile de Dakar, weave a smooth, churning, polyrhythmic soul sound (known as mbalax), but it's not until the female backing singers chime in that the whole thing comes together-see "The Lion-Gaiende," which should be a worldwide hit, the soothing "Bamako" and the backbeat groove of "My Daughter," the three catchiest and most memorable tracks on the record. Gabriel returns the favor and duets on "Shakin' The Tree," an ethereal, liberating song about "Woman's Day"; "The Truth" offers an upbeat funky feel; while on "Bes" Youssou's backup singer (who sounds like Annie Lennox here) echoes the final fading words "don't forget me." Sound advice for all out there in radio.

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For much of the world, this was the first opportunity to hear Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour. Championed by Peter Gabriel (who appears here on "Shaking the Tree"), he burst into public consciousness with the frantic mbalax rhythms of the title track, dedicated to Senegal's soccer team. The producers, including David Sancious, added some gloss to the sound without killing the thrill of songs like "The Truth," and N'Dour's wonderful voice, with its high, keening griot sound was firmly front and center--exactly where it should be. While the music was toned down a little for Western audiences, it remained firmly grounded in the streets of N'Dour's Dakar, with the inventive drumming of Manu Katche, who powers the songs along. You could aptly call this the birth of a superstar, with N'Dour showing himself capable and ready to walk into the hearts of people around the world as one of the great voices.

Chris Nickson - Amazon.com

N'Dour's big crossover album has several English-language songs. It's good, but not great work.

J. Poet - All Music Guide

 L y r i c s

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 M P 3   S a m p l e s

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