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Medina

Fallou Dieng

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Album Review

The music couldn't be from anywhere but Senegal, with its relentless polyrhythms, jittering drums, and pounding m'balax. For his U.S. debut, Fallou Dieng has put together some of the hardest sounds heard outside Dakar. It's exactly the kind of music Youssou N'Dour should be making, except for the fact that he's gone after a bigger international audience. He doesn't have the vocal qualities or range of the bigger star, but he more than makes up for it in the energy and power of his music — all self-composed. But he's still got a strong pair of lungs, and a way with a lyric, melodic, sometimes teasing, but then pushing on through to deliver a staggering performance — the man what it takes to go to a global level. This disc, compiled from three Senegalese cassettes recorded in 1994, 1995, and 1996 do him ample justice, whether on the pumping title cut, or the closing "Koleuré 96." This is non-stop music to shake you out onto the dancefloor, even if you don't understand the rhythm or the words. It just won't take no for an answer.

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Medina, Fallou Dieng
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