Seya - Oumou Sangare

World Circuit

Blame it on The Beatles. At the height of their short careers, the lads were cranking out two albums a year! No one, not EMI nor The Beatles would let the wild fire burn low. More astonishing then the break-neck pace at which they worked themselves was the incomparable quality of their output. It was an impossibly high standard set by a collective creativity in a magic moment of time that will never again be repeated. But, momentum is largely over-rated for mortal artists. The music needs to develop in its own time or something suffers. Oumou Sangaré, Mali’s ‘Songbird of Wassoulou’ presents Seya, her first album in six long years. It’s a release that that has been given the time it needed and its value is a fait accompi. At 41 years, Sangare is herself the standard bearer for the female voice in a country that has blessed the world with a wealth of music talent. World Circuit’s Nick Gold, who has produced the label’s catalogue of triumphs, from Ali Farka Toure to Orchestra Baobab to the Buena Vista Social Club has chiseled another indispensable gem. Most striking are the subdued wisps of guitar and electronic blips that meld in concert with the acoustic traditional elements to create a gorgeous foundation for Sangare’s singular voice and entrancing melodies. Perhaps considering the beauty and integrity of the product, Oumou Sangaré can be forgiven for making us wait six years. But, she’s got a lot of other stuff on her plate, in her philanthropic work and as a business woman with interests in hotels, agriculture and a Chinese SUV she recently gave her name to. Watch for the Oum Sang, possibly coming soon to a dealer near you