14 Songs, 59 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The veteran vocalist Youssou N’Dour is known for bringing the sound of Senegalese mbalax to a global audience and for his genre-crossing collaborations. 2011’s Dakar – Kingston is N’Dour’s nod to reggae, and especially to the work of the late Bob Marley. The album features Jamaican players, including ex-Wailer keyboardist Tyrone Downie and guitarist Earl Chinna Smith, as well as musicians from Senegal and other lands. The opener, “Marley,” a tribute to the great singer/songwriter, has a sweet melody, skittering guitar, talking drums, and a welcome guest appearance by the Jamaican dub poet Mutabaruka. The melancholy “Joker” rides a chugging rhythm as it contrasts N’Dour’s touching vocals and Patrice’s rap. The album closes with a cover of Marley’s late-career classic, “Redemption Song.” The original found a solo Marley accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, but this version has a full arrangement, including talking drums, which fire things up.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The veteran vocalist Youssou N’Dour is known for bringing the sound of Senegalese mbalax to a global audience and for his genre-crossing collaborations. 2011’s Dakar – Kingston is N’Dour’s nod to reggae, and especially to the work of the late Bob Marley. The album features Jamaican players, including ex-Wailer keyboardist Tyrone Downie and guitarist Earl Chinna Smith, as well as musicians from Senegal and other lands. The opener, “Marley,” a tribute to the great singer/songwriter, has a sweet melody, skittering guitar, talking drums, and a welcome guest appearance by the Jamaican dub poet Mutabaruka. The melancholy “Joker” rides a chugging rhythm as it contrasts N’Dour’s touching vocals and Patrice’s rap. The album closes with a cover of Marley’s late-career classic, “Redemption Song.” The original found a solo Marley accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, but this version has a full arrangement, including talking drums, which fire things up.

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