January 4, 2016

Adama Yalomba | Waati Sera

ARTIST: Adama Yalomba
TITLE: Waati Sera
LABEL: Studio Mali
Adama Yalomba is a 45 year old singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Mali who’s best known for his work as a sideman with Rokia Traore, Bassekou Kouyate, Oumou Sangare, Ali Farka Toure and many of his country’s leading stars.
This is his fourth album as front man (second in international release), and it’s some of the best Afropop I’ve heard in recent years. I say “Afropop” because Yalomba’s short songs, brisk tempos, varied rhythms and catchy melodies are characteristic of the music that tag was applied to 10 and 20 years ago. Take track 2 for example – it features local instruments like balafon and n’dan (Yalomba’s main axe, similar to kamale ngoni) but it’s totally accessible to first-world listeners. 5 is a tuneful, more electric number that will put you in mind of Amadou & Mariam. Yalomba seems to be able to play everything – he touches on currently popular desert blues on the rocking 4 and the more introspective 8, a duet with the superb Samba Toure. And 3, set to a West African reggae riddim, is right out of Tiken Jah Fakoly’s songbook. This is an accomplished and thoroughly enjoyable album, worthy of wide attention.
TOP TRACKS:    2    3    4    5    8
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    7    9    10    11

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