Oumou SangaréView in iTunes
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In 1990, Wassoulou singer Sangare became a superstar in West Africa with Moussolou, which sold an astonishing 250,000 copies (many more were likely pirated). She received much of her attention for writing and singing lyrics that specifically addressed concerns of women in modern West African society, such as the conflict between marriage and personal freedom; not a shocking subject in the Western world, perhaps, but a pioneering one for the popular music of the region. Western listeners who can't understand the lyrics will be drawn in by her mellifluous vocals and smooth, circular compositions, which use full arrangements without sounding over-produced. Both traditional instruments and electric guitars/basses are prominently used (without getting in each other's way) on her 1993 release Ko Sira, her most widely available recording in the U.S. ~ Richie Unterberger