May 8, 2011


LABEL:  Nacional
REVIEW:  SMOD (with a long O, rhymes with “snowed”) is a trio of young Frenchmen of Malian descent.  One of them, Sam Bagayoko, is the son of Malian superstars Amadou & Mariam, and they’ve received a huge boost here in the production work of mega-superstar Manu Chao (who produced Amadou & Mariam’s hit Dimanche A Bamako as well).  SMOD describe their music as “African rap ‘n’ folk,” and that’s an apt label.  The Manu Chao sound – the strumming guitars, super-catchy melodies, short motifs frequently repeated, rapid vocals half-sung and half-rapped – is in full evidence, all that’s missing are the police sirens.  If you like Manu Chao and Amadou & Mariam (I’m a big fan of both), this is like getting a bonus new release from either of them.
REVIEWER:  Bill Lupoletti
TOP TRACKS:    2    7    8    10
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    1    3    4    6    12    13

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