2017 Honorable Mention Pick 6

Oumou Sangare: Mogoya (No Format, 2017)

You know a record is bad ass when the sixth track kills it (I’ve clipped the sixth track as the second video below because Tony Allen’s track has to take first place). She gets into a level of funk on that sixth track that most musicians can only dream of.

This is a full band record with kora, multiple background singers, synth and organ in places. Sangare’s voice is strong and very pretty but it’s not a heaven sent African Whitney Houston kind of thing — not much soaring but her vocal arrangements are sophisticated, very sophisticated. It’s not an Afrobeat nor an African power trio rock record like Noura Mint Seymali and her crew but there is some guitar shredding and some large ensemble vibes.

Start with the two tunes I’ve clipped below as they’re my favorites on the record and then go from there.


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