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Oumou Sangaré​:​ Mogoya review – change of direction but still true to her roots

The Guardian logo The Guardian 19/05/2017 Robin Denselow

Related: Oumou Sangaré review – Malian songbird's musical star soars

The first new album in eight years by the great Malian diva shows a dramatic change of direction. She has a new French record label and French production team, A.l.b.e.r.t, who have worked with Franz Ferdinand. She is clearly aiming for a younger audience, and does so by using tight bass riffs, keyboards and sudden bursts of rock guitar, with the great Tony Allen driving on two of the songs with his distinctive percussion work. The result is an impressive, attacking set, but then Sangaré has always been adventurous. Her previous album, Seya, also included Allen, and she succeeds here because she remains true to her roots. The kamele ngoni is still much in evidence, and she is in distinctive, powerful voice on songs that – as ever – offer advice to her female followers. The title track is the most experimental, with backing provided by keyboards and cello.

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