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Sou ni tilé

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Album Review

Mali's Amadou & Mariam sing in three African languages and French but more importantly are fluent in a musical language that often transcends ordinary speech. Polyrhythmic percussion, complex vocal harmonies, and fluid guitar, violin, and horn lines — as well as the occasional harmonica — are combined to create earthy songs that are more given the breath of life than performed. Each of the album's 15 songs beats with its own human, living pulse. "A Radio Mogo" hints at Caribbean reggae, while "Mon Amour, Ma Cherie" allows Amadou to stretch out a bit on guitar, over a rolling, throbbing beat. While not as blues-oriented as the more internationally known Malian guitarists, Ali Farka Toure and Boubacar Traore, Amadou plays guitar in an accomplished, heartfelt style that's accessible in any language. In Sou Ni Tile, Amadou & Mariam and their band have created mature, intelligent pop music that's accessible exactly because the musicians have chosen not to trade exuberance or passion for their maturity and intelligence.

Customer Reviews

Earlier work just as beautiful

Amadou & Mariam came to my attention when I read a review of a new album produced by eurolatino wunderkind Manu Chao. I love Manu's albums, so I went out and found Amadou & Mariam's "Dimanche a Bamako" right away. I wasn't disappointed. Recently, while surfing through the iTunes store, I saw that an older album, "Sou ni tile," from 1999, was available. I downloaded it. This older album is just as beautiful, more straightforward, and soothes the soul with its smooth Malian rhythms. Amadou and Mariam's voices are like rich balms to the soul. This is the kind of music that relaxes and energizes you at the same time. Highly recommended.

now you can hear

Original and innovative Amadou & Mariam's first release in the USA showcases their versatility. Roots sound tied into great rhythmic style. Too many great songs to mention. Je pense a toi is a great blues ballad, for a rockin guitar song check out C'est la vie. For a reggae like blues tune check out Djandjola, A radio mogo or Dogons. This couple has been a major force in West Africa and is touring USA this summer do not miss a chance to see them live!!!

By far their best

This album is awesome. Incredibly produced, beautifully arranged songs. It saddened me to see Manu Chao's paws all over their later album. The latter doesn't feel like their album at all, whereas this one really feels like you're hearing their voices and sound and not anyone else's. Sou ni tile is far better than anything else they've done. Start with this!


Genre: World

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A musical husband-and-wife duo that got its start in Mali, Amadou & Mariam met in 1975 at Mali's Bamako Institute for the Young Blind. Amadou (born Amadou Bagayoko in Bamako in October of 1954) began his musical career in 1968, and by 1974 had joined Les Ambassadeurs du Motel, a leading group (which counted Salif Keita as a member) in his home country. He wound up at the aforementioned institute after becoming blind as a teenager through a congenital cataract. His future wife, Mariam Doumbia (born...
Full Bio
Sou ni tilé, Amadou & Mariam
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Customer Ratings

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