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Boomkat Product Review:
A brilliant new album by one of Mali's greatest musical exports, Rokia Traore, who has been a well-known singer, guitarist and songwriter ever since her early associations with Ali Farkar Toure in the late nineties. In the five years since her previous album, Bowmboi, Traore has spent time touring in the USA and playing such high profile live events as 2005's Africa Live and the following year's celebrations of Mozart's 250th birthday in Vienna. Throughout her career Traore has been very much geared towards international collaboration, and perhaps because of this openness to music from beyond her own backyard, this album is characterised by a multifaceted approach to writing: the title track's bossa rhythms and stacked up harmonies take on a hypnotic, subtly repetitive quality, while there's a bluesy feel to 'Dounia', followed shortly after by the beguiling vocal drone of 'Dianfa' and the sprightly Afrobeat of 'Zen'. Excellent.