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iTunes Review

Vieux Farka Toure’s Mon Pays finds the Malian singer/guitarist responding to the war that erupted in his homeland in 2012. The album is a statement of national unity and cultural pride. “Yer Gando” bristles with the low-key intensity of the style that's come to be known as desert blues, where riffs and call-and-response vocals rule. “Kele Magni” has a mellower vibe and a faster tempo; the lyrics proclaim that Mali belongs to all Malians. Toure pays tribute to his elders on other cuts. “Safare”—a piece composed by Vieux’s father, Ali Farka Toure—hums with focused energy. The next track, “Diack So,” reworks a traditional folk song and pays homage to Diack So, a late musician from Ali’s generation. The instrumentals “Future” and “Peace” punctuate and complement the vocal tracks. (Check out Sidiki Diabate’s kora on those cuts.) Mon Pays closes with “Ay Bakoy,” which features Israeli pianist Idan Raichel—whom Toure teamed up with for The Toure-Raichel Collective’s The Tel Aviv Session. It’s striking to hear Raichel’s acoustic piano in this context, and his runs fit right in.

Customer Reviews

Vieux goes back to his roots

This is a great album, one where Vieux goes back to more of the traditional Malian music. In some of his previous albums, Vieux explored fusing traditional Malian music with more modern example of which was Fondo where his experimentations with electrical guitar earned him comparisons to Jimi Hendrix . In this album, the music resembles more of what his father, Ali, played. It is more traditional and more soulful. This is in part because he is singing about the troubles that his country faces today. Soothing and endlessly enjoyable, this is an album you will keep coming back to for a long time to come


Born: Mali

Genre: World

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Vieux Farka Touré, the second son of the late Ali Farka Touré, inherited his mantle, but his father never wanted him to be a musician and endure the same problems he had. Instead, Ali forbade his son from playing music and decreed that he'd become a soldier. But a father's wishes can't always be law; some children are destined to follow in their father's footsteps. Vieux was drawn to music, and growing up in his father's hometown of Niafunké and the Malian capital, Bamako, he began playing percussion,...
Full Bio
Mon Pays, Vieux Farka Touré
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Customer Ratings