Reviews August 8, 2023
Fatoumata Diawara: London Ko

Fatoumata Diawara's latest album, "London Ko," is an uplifting musical journey that lly blends electronic music with the rich traditions of Malian Wassoulou music. The production of this album creates a mesmerizing fusion that showcases Diawara's soothing and nurturing vocals. It is a powerful album, pushing the instrumentation of Malian music in another direction and representing the spirit of a new generation of musicians.

The opening track, "Nsera," immediately grabs your attention with its groovy bass line and looping guitar riffs. Combining these infectious rhythms and Fatoumata's enchanting vocals sets the tone for the album's exploration of life and love. The next track “Somaw” expresses the importance of love and support from home and family.

"Massa Den" crescendos with a driving pulse, making you want to dance and sing along. The ethereal music video adds another layer of beauty with its ornate costumes and Fatou's captivating shell jewelry.

The funky "Mogokan" introduces pretty vocal harmonies and English verses that delve into the complexities of love and relationships. The song's end has a shouting organ beneath Fatou's chants, leaving you captivated.

"Blues," the album's secret weapon, discusses family themes and features mind-blowing syncopation in the bass, keys, and guitar. It is an actual standout moment highlighting Diawara's artistry and musical prowess. "Moussoya" follows with serenity-inducing harmonies, transporting the listener to a place of tranquility—a contrast to the preceding track’s virtuosic frenzy. You will fall in love with Fatoumata’s yearning vocals on this track.

"Netara" showcases a groovy, bluesy bass groove accompanied by piano. With yet another piano-heavy track, this album marks a departure from guitar-driven music, pushing Malian music in another direction. "Yada" opens with a bold electric guitar phrase, leading into a steady groove with an electrifying guitar solo. Fatoumata Diawara proves herself to be a true rockstar yet again in this track.

Once again, the album showcases its electronic finesse on “Dambe.”

“Dakan” brings us back to a steady guitar groove. “Maya” is a beautiful song featuring guitar and piano that emphasizes one last time the raw beauty of Fatoumata’s singing.

Fatoumata Diawara's "London Ko" is a stunning musical concoction that combines captivating vocals, fantastic production, and a fusion of electronic music, new instrumentation, and Malian vocal traditions that emphasize life, love, and family. This album represents a triumph of artistic expression and is a testament to a generation of musicians breaking free from oppression. With its soothing melodies, groovy basslines, and electrifying performances, "London Ko" is a must-listen for music enthusiasts seeking a truly unique work of music.

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