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Thread: Album Club, July, 2020: Rokia Traoré - 'Beautiful Africa'

  1. #1
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: Land of the Lilac Curtains, UK

    Posts: 286
    I'm Curator.

    Default Album Club, July, 2020: Rokia Traoré - 'Beautiful Africa'

    The Album Club choice for July comes courtesy of Simon (Ashmore) with Rokia Traoré's 'Beautiful Africa'. As always, please listen to the Album in its entirety before you comment and vote.


    Rokia Traoré: Beautiful Africa




    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beautiful_Africa


    I adore this album. It's a blend of glorious ingredients: first rate songwriting throughout; soulful/passionate/dynamic vocal performances from Ms Traoré; a refreshing blend of instruments - some familiar to me, others not; a terrific rhythmic sense... and it's really well recorded (offering many "Oh my, it's like she's in the room with me" moments).

    It doesn't matter that I have no idea what most of the songs are about (it's not performed in English, mostly). it's still hugely accessible and enjoyable. In fact, I've really enjoyed imagining what the lyrics mean.

    Get into it!


    https://open.spotify.com/album/5gCev...SKieNuDR5kupag
    https://tidal.com/browse/album/68594681
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3GTnc9M92c

  2. #2
    Audio Al is offline Pishanto Specialist & Super-Daftee
    Join Date: May 2012

    Location: Dagenham Essex

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    I'm Allen.

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    The youtube link only plays 2 tracks , the other 2 links require sign up membership

    Not overly keen on songs in other languages
    [

  3. #3
    Join Date: Sep 2011

    Location: County Durham, UK

    Posts: 133
    I'm Gordon.

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    I throughly enjoyed this album. I have a fair amount of African music, but this one had passed me by.

    It was more rock-oriented than I expected, but non the worse for that. The blend of rock and African instruments works well and Rokia Traore is not only an accomplished singer and songwriter, but also a talented guitarist.

    The song mix is good, with some real dynamic driving pieces and some slower numbers.

    While I do like to know what a song is about, I don't have a problem with not understanding the lyrics as I can often focus on the music more. However, you can find the English translations to these songs here if it is important.

    I gave it 8 as I found some of the vocal recording a bit bright on some tracks (could well be my ears), but overall the recording quality is quite good. Musically it's very good.

    Thanks for choosing this album.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 26,061
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    The tracks on this album are, in order:

    Lalla
    Kouma
    Sikey
    Ka Moun Kè
    Melancolie
    N’Téri
    Tuit Tuit
    Beautiful Africa
    Sarama.

    All can be found on YouTube, so if you persevere you can listen to them all, albeit in a piecemeal fashion.


    I love West African music, especially that from Mali, and this album is no exception. For some reason Mali is especially blessed in producing some world-class musicians.

    I first became aware of RokiaTraoré from her appearance on Jools Holland’s ‘Later’, and because of that investigate her back catalogue. Traoré’s earlier albums are more traditional sounding, using acoustic (un-amplified) instruments. In ‘Beautiful Africa’ Traoré is pursuing a more European up-tempo ‘rock’/pop sound. I’m not sure if it suits her, but remain content that it is her choice, and the results are still very, very listenable.

    I’m not troubled with singers singing in their own language: the great majority of my ‘world music’ collection is in a foreign language, and even with Anglophone artists, their diction is often so poor that you can’t really hear the lyrics properly.

    I would give this 9.5/10, but I can’t so 10/10 from me.
    Barry

  5. #5
    Join Date: May 2020

    Location: Suffolk

    Posts: 246
    I'm Ray.

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    I know this album and some of her others, I preferred her Tchamantché album but I will give this another play later if I can.

    OK I have played it now. My feelings have not changed, I gave it 7. The vocals on the first 3 songs are very fast then it settles down, I prefer her singing more slowly as on her previous album. My favourite song is Ka Moun Ke,some interesting vocal effects on that. The sound quality was ok but I found it a bit hard and slightly harsh.
    I’m playing Tchamantche now which I prefer, slower songs and better sound quality in my opinion, I would rate this as a 9.

    Thanks for recommending this album, it is an interesting choice, I saw her on Jools Holland also.
    Last edited by StingRay; 05-07-2020 at 10:23.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Chorley, Lancs

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    I'm Mike.

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    An interesting listen as others have said the slower songs seem to suit her style best. i listen to a lot of artists who don't sing in English so the fact that the majority of this album is in mixture of languages including some French and a little English didn't put me off, my only criticism would be some of the lyrics didn't flow with the music and seemed a bit disjointed, apart from that a thoroughly enjoyable listed 9 /10 from me


    As the late Colonel Sanders once said
    "I'm too drunk to taste this chicken!!"

  7. #7
    Audio Al is offline Pishanto Specialist & Super-Daftee
    Join Date: May 2012

    Location: Dagenham Essex

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    I'm Allen.

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    Yes the singer has a capable voice , I really can't concentrat on songs in different languages , Sorry not for me 6
    [

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jul 2020

    Location: France

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    I'm Zack.

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    I like the rhythm very much and the voice is nice, but I agree with previous commentators that at some point in time I start to be distracted by the change of languages and this prevents me from concentrating.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

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    I'm Adrian.

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    I had a good listen to this and several tracks I listened to a couple of times. Certainly accomplished musicians and Rokia has a good voice but at times as others said I lost interest , I am not sure why but some of the tracks just did not grab me. Anyway interesting and a 7/10.
    Listening is the act of aural discrimination and dissemination of sound, and accepting you get it wrong sometimes.

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  10. #10
    Join Date: Feb 2020

    Location: Clitheroe, Lancs

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    I'm Pete.

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    Certainly improved on second listen. Great voice and great musicians. Title track probably my fav. Good solid 8/10 from me.

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