Folila - Amadou & Mariam
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. 100
    Mixing up elements of rock, pop, blues, jazz, soul and funk, each song finds its way into a supple groove and just bounces around there as though Amadou's guitar strings and Mariam's vocal chords were made of musical elastic.
  2. This never takes off the way Welcome to Mali did. But it does hang in there, and rewards attention.
  3. 91
    Though they sing in different languages, the tongue of teamwork makes for universal understanding.
  4. May 9, 2012
    88
    Ultimately, Folila fits right into that legacy, while managing to expand it just a little further.
  5. May 1, 2012
    80
    Amadou and Mariam were wise to forgo a full-on return-to-roots move: They're no kind of traditionalists, let alone folkies, and if their songs lovingly reimagine Bamako, cosmopolitan Paris is their spiritual, as well as their physical, home.
  6. Apr 12, 2012
    80
    Folila is great music. Period.
  7. Apr 4, 2012
    80
    For those who have never heard Amadou & Mariam's music, Folila may be a perfect place to start exploring.
  8. 80
    Taken together, the results demonstrate how adeptly Amadou & Mariam straddle both local and global, with a truly "world" music that deserves mainstream chart success rather than niche appreciation.
  9. Apr 2, 2012
    74
    Even if Folila is less surprising than the two albums that came before it, it still makes me look forward to seeing where they'll take this fusion next.
  10. Jun 4, 2012
    70
    The result is cultural exchange with ears pricked high.
  11. Apr 26, 2012
    70
    The album works brilliantly far more often than not.
  12. Apr 10, 2012
    70
    This is thrilling, catchy and complex music that satisfies even if you haven't a clue what they're singing about.
  13. Apr 4, 2012
    70
    With their eclectic cocktail of rock, pop, blues, jazz, soul, funk and traditional African music, these grandparents can still knock out an irresistible groove to match the best, but perhaps they need to be reminded that they should do it alone a little more often.
  14. Apr 4, 2012
    70
    If you are willing to be patient it offers more surprises than you'd expect, flourishing on repeated plays.
  15. Apr 2, 2012
    70
    While the album does act as an introduction to the group for beginners and a primer on the complicated rhythms of African pop, it does so mostly by engraining familiar artists and concepts within their style, a process which foments an expansion of their sound rather than watering it down.
  16. A highlight comes in 'Sans Toi', an unassuming love song which proves that, stripped of special guests, it's their songwriting that brought Amadou and Mariam this far.
  17. Apr 2, 2012
    70
    Folila's best moments do inadvertently serve as a reminder of how good Amadou & Mariam are without the hired help.
  18. Apr 10, 2012
    63
    As often as not here Amadou & Mariam seem crowded out of their own music.
  19. Apr 25, 2012
    60
    There is much here to enjoy. [May 2012, p.93]
  20. Apr 4, 2012
    60
    Folila is an unhappy attempt to amalgamate two records, one that mostly swamps their playful sound with noisy overlays. [May 2012, p.65]
  21. Apr 2, 2012
    60
    More selective souls may find themselves reaching for the fast-forward button, as perhaps the original plan would have yielded a more cohesive whole.
  22. Apr 2, 2012
    60
    This isn't poppier than anything they've done over the past decade or so, but few individual songs stick out like good pop songs should.
  23. 60
    Folila, packed with western friends, mixes the inspired and mundane.
  24. Apr 13, 2012
    40
    In accommodating all those guests Mariam too often has to take a back seat, so destroying much of the couple's special chemistry, the very thing that sets them apart. [May 2012, p.90]
User Score
tbd

No user score yet- Awaiting 2 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Apr 25, 2012
    10
    Wonderful! This album is one of the best so far this year. personally, when there are lyrics in languages you dont understand, it adds a satisfying sense of escape from the world around you. this album is meant to be an escape where the sound is everything. great example of breaking musical borders and creating new mixtures of feelings. definitally listen to this! Full Review »