Nothing's in Vain
 : Nothing's in Vain

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by: Youssou N'Dour

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Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Binding: Audio CD
EAN: 0075597965421
Item Dimensions: 4757529508
Label: Nonesuch
Languages: EnglishPublishedEnglishUnknown
Manufacturer: Nonesuch
MPN: 075597965421
Number Of Discs: 1
Number Of Items: 1
Publication Date: October 22, 2002
Publisher: Nonesuch
Release Date: October 22, 2002
Studio: Nonesuch

Disc 1:
  1. Tan Bi (Heat, Breeze, Tenderness)
  2. Moor Ndaje (Mr. Everywhere)
  3. Li Ma Weesu (As In A Mirror)
  4. Genne (For Those Displaced)
  5. La Femme Est L'avenir De L'amour (Women Are The Future Of Love)
  6. Mbeggeel Noonu La (Because Love's Like That)
  7. Il N'y A Pas D'Amour Heureux (There Is No Happy Love)
  8. Sagal Ko (Honor Her)
  9. C'est L'amour (It's Love)
  10. Doole (Show You True Mettle)
  11. So Many Men
  12. Yaru (The Makings Of Respect)
  13. Africa, Dream Again
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Editorial Review:

Product Description:
After signing to Nonesuch for the world, one of Africa's most respected artists and world music's biggest names delivers his first international release for the label. In his own words, Youssou describes the album: "One of the things I set out to do was to surround my singing with traditional Senegalese instrumentation, but played in non-traditional arrangements. It was a challenge but I think we were rewarded with a lovely outcome. It was great to pull the traditional players into the studio with Habib Faye (the album's co-producer) and my usual unit (Super Etoile). To have the opportunity to invite Jean-Phillippe Rykiel (the legendary blind keyboardist) and Doudou Ndiaye Rose to help shape my music again - and working with Regis Gizavo (the Madagascar-based accordianist) and Pascal Obispo (the French pop star and songwriter) - really made me feel lucky. NOTHING'S IN VAIN is, for me, a reflective album, but in as many parts as hopeful - and even cheerful - as it is somber. Like love itself." Recorded and mixed almost entirely in N'Dour's Xippi Studios in Dakar, the traditional acoustic instruments such as the West African folk harp (kora), the Senegalese lute(xalam) and violin (riti) are featured side-by-side with Senegalese percussion (sabar) and the familiar sound of chattering guitars. With a range of instrumental color more striking than ever, bouncing polyrhythms, and soaring vocals that are among the most assured of his career, N'Dour's songs traverse a varied landscape of concerns both cultural and personal, terrestrial and ethereal, befitting a musical imagination as big as the world that has embraced his art.
These days, Youssou N'Dour's Western releases seem to have more in common with florid '70s pop than his signature mbalax sound. This stunningly gifted singer is vastly overqualified for such uncomplicated material, and his rootsy acoustic backup band is repeatedly compromised by glaringly out-of-place programmed drums and synth patches. Most of the tunes were composed by N'Dour, but the set list also includes a chanson by Georges Brassens plus a cloying duet with French pop star Pascal Obispo. Why? Debates about authenticity are useless and demeaning, but N'Dour is clearly underestimating his potential non-African audiences. Meanwhile, longtime listeners still crave the dangerous beauty, visceral thrills, and ornate, jagged time signatures that characterize his Senegalese output. En passant, it is worth noting that Olatunji, Miriam Makeba, and Cesaria Evora all achieved lasting international fame by providing an irresistible alternative to the prevailing status quo, not more of the same in another language. --Christina Roden

Average Rating: none

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