• Record Label: Nonesuch
  • Release Date: Mar 24, 2009
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 55 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 55
  2. Negative: 6 out of 55

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  1. JohannT.
    Dec 29, 2008
    2
    What annoys me the most on this album is that though it's clearely not a good one, Amadou & Mariam are the only famous modern african artists. And because of that, they should be considered as interesting. But they are not. I never heard lyrics that dumb (if you translate from english to french, it goes "Africa, it's not only war, Africa, it's not only hunger, it's What annoys me the most on this album is that though it's clearely not a good one, Amadou & Mariam are the only famous modern african artists. And because of that, they should be considered as interesting. But they are not. I never heard lyrics that dumb (if you translate from english to french, it goes "Africa, it's not only war, Africa, it's not only hunger, it's also sun, happiness", which is the best way to convey the toughest clichés about Africa). The music is OK, but really, it is so dull when compared to that of Rokia Traoré, who really mixes traditional and modern music in an unheard-before way. No, really, I can't help thinking Amadou & Mariam is world music for people who actually use the expression "world music" : uneducated people who like to think themselves as curious and open minded. Expand
  2. brendank.
    Dec 6, 2008
    8
    This was my first introduction to this duo and loved them. But I have to admit that if you like this album, you will LOVE their earlier album 'Dimanche à Bamako'. Both are excellent
  3. SergeyP
    Feb 4, 2009
    1
    Absolutely agree with user comment: this CD is only for "uneducated people who like to think themselves as curious and open minded."
  4. Johno
    Feb 7, 2009
    8
    Doesn't quite hit the peaks of their last album, but is a refreshingly optimistic fusion of rock, blues, funk and soul that Stevie Wonder did so well 30 years ago. It's easy to accuse these guys of recreating music that was invented years ago, but why should that dilute the enthusiasm, joy and fine musicianship they have? It's just upsetting that fellow folk that share this Doesn't quite hit the peaks of their last album, but is a refreshingly optimistic fusion of rock, blues, funk and soul that Stevie Wonder did so well 30 years ago. It's easy to accuse these guys of recreating music that was invented years ago, but why should that dilute the enthusiasm, joy and fine musicianship they have? It's just upsetting that fellow folk that share this appreciation have been labelled "uneducated" by people that clearly have a chip on their shoulder about music that reaches the masses. The term "world music" references anything that falls outside the common genres of mainly (though not always) American and British music. It helps record shops and review magazines organise their music, simple as that. Even though I've been guilty of it myself, It's not "cool" to dislike the mainstream and just quote obscure artists. Everyone knows that. If we don't like an album, or an artist, and insist on sharing that with the world, then let's give intelligent reasons and not criticise those that are in awe. Collapse
  5. JoshF.
    Dec 12, 2008
    10
    Jaw-droppingly listenable and inventive. I am hooked to this joyous affirmation of humanity and connectivity!
  6. WilliamF.
    Dec 15, 2008
    1
    this is the most over rated album this year. Check out Foals! Nothing like a bit of funk punk/math rock!
  7. DanielM.
    Jan 20, 2009
    9
    Delightfully optimistic melodies with an almost gloomy backdrop makes the blind duo's latest a truly fun listen. It may also be true that whatever Damon Alburn touches turns to gold and the fact that K'naan is featured makes it that much more irresistible.
  8. MitchM
    Jan 6, 2009
    10
    Without a doubt, the best albulm of the year!
  9. GillI
    Feb 4, 2009
    0
    Sorry guys but i can't rate this clone of Manu Chao higher. Absolutely nothing interesting to listen.
  10. MattB
    Dec 29, 2008
    5
    Its really not all that great. Not much innovation. If you like traditional african music in a pop format then by all means go for it but I assure you this album is nothing special. Be prepared to feel pleasant at best and underwhelmed at worst. You'd be much better off with the Ruby Suns - Sea Lion. I dare you to listen to Tane Mahuta and tell me there is 1 song that even approaches Its really not all that great. Not much innovation. If you like traditional african music in a pop format then by all means go for it but I assure you this album is nothing special. Be prepared to feel pleasant at best and underwhelmed at worst. You'd be much better off with the Ruby Suns - Sea Lion. I dare you to listen to Tane Mahuta and tell me there is 1 song that even approaches it on this album. There's no comparison. A further and yet still even better recommendation would be .. Animal Collective's merriweather post pavilion. Not quite as "worldly" as the previous 2...more like "otherworldly". It puts them on legend territory. No sh*t. For a great trip I'd rather listen to this than yoshimi or darkside anyday. Expand
  11. TonyO.
    Dec 4, 2008
    8
    More of the same. Good to great Afro pop, nicely recorded. Not as quirky as the last one, but will keep the fans happy.
  12. Liamd
    Feb 26, 2009
    7
    After all the hype this album got, and after Dimanche a Bamako (their last album) which is one of my favourite albums of the last few years, I can't help feelling just a little disappointed. It's a great album, no mistake, but it's very similar to the last album, and the last album had better tunes (Sabali aside, which is a stonking track). If you've never heard of After all the hype this album got, and after Dimanche a Bamako (their last album) which is one of my favourite albums of the last few years, I can't help feelling just a little disappointed. It's a great album, no mistake, but it's very similar to the last album, and the last album had better tunes (Sabali aside, which is a stonking track). If you've never heard of these two before and are wondering which album to get to give them a try, go for Dimanche a Bamako. Expand
  13. JohnP.
    Feb 4, 2009
    10
    Some do just what they can, others shoot for the stars. This album is a stunning masterpiece, and what some people can't seem to understand, is the fact that this album was created in attempt of perfecting the balance of complexity and simplicity. Neither is the perfect route to success, though like a political party, many subscribe to a pole rather than a balance of the two. This Some do just what they can, others shoot for the stars. This album is a stunning masterpiece, and what some people can't seem to understand, is the fact that this album was created in attempt of perfecting the balance of complexity and simplicity. Neither is the perfect route to success, though like a political party, many subscribe to a pole rather than a balance of the two. This album travels great distance in an attempt to blend a wide variety of musical backgrounds, exposing what the "dull" lyrics as described below stretch to yell, that there is much more to Africa than tribal rhythms and chants. Amadou and Mariam reach there mark, and then some. Expand
  14. SerjB.
    Nov 25, 2008
    10
    Beautiful album, that's all I want to say.
  15. JesseR.
    Dec 12, 2008
    10
    awesome.. album of the year..
  16. MattM.
    Dec 19, 2008
    9
    Excellent 2nd album. This couple needs to come back to the states. I saw an electrifying show in June 2006. Simply amazing.
  17. danielh.
    Dec 2, 2008
    10
    Fantastic, I love them!!!!
  18. WillB.
    Dec 12, 2008
    9
    On the one hand, I'm not qualified to speak about this album, since I have not heard the rest of their catalogue. On the other hand, if there is any other album out right now that can top this for catchiness, poignancy, musical genius, good times, back story, and a healthy multiplier of long-time-coming, please show it to me.
  19. EleanorJ.
    Dec 16, 2008
    9
    Fun, uplifting, and a truly wonderful album.
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Big production bombast in the latter half of the record--especially on 'Africa,' the English-language 'I Follow You' and the title track--could happily be skipped over, but there's at least half a record here that's as indispensible as it is likeable.
  2. The great thing about this follow-up is the way it builds on that foundation without lapsing into self-consciousness.
  3. This album is an affirmation of global connectivity and an emerging global culture that transcends and repurposes tradition as it sees fit--the sound of Mali merging with the world at large.