10 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Vieux Farka Toure’s Mon Pays finds the Malian singer/guitarist responding to the war that erupted in his homeland in 2012. The album is a statement of national unity and cultural pride. “Yer Gando” bristles with the low-key intensity of the style that's come to be known as desert blues, where riffs and call-and-response vocals rule. “Kele Magni” has a mellower vibe and a faster tempo; the lyrics proclaim that Mali belongs to all Malians. Toure pays tribute to his elders on other cuts. “Safare”—a piece composed by Vieux’s father, Ali Farka Toure—hums with focused energy. The next track, “Diack So,” reworks a traditional folk song and pays homage to Diack So, a late musician from Ali’s generation. The instrumentals “Future” and “Peace” punctuate and complement the vocal tracks. (Check out Sidiki Diabate’s kora on those cuts.) Mon Pays closes with “Ay Bakoy,” which features Israeli pianist Idan Raichel—whom Toure teamed up with for The Toure-Raichel Collective’s The Tel Aviv Session. It’s striking to hear Raichel’s acoustic piano in this context, and his runs fit right in.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Vieux Farka Toure’s Mon Pays finds the Malian singer/guitarist responding to the war that erupted in his homeland in 2012. The album is a statement of national unity and cultural pride. “Yer Gando” bristles with the low-key intensity of the style that's come to be known as desert blues, where riffs and call-and-response vocals rule. “Kele Magni” has a mellower vibe and a faster tempo; the lyrics proclaim that Mali belongs to all Malians. Toure pays tribute to his elders on other cuts. “Safare”—a piece composed by Vieux’s father, Ali Farka Toure—hums with focused energy. The next track, “Diack So,” reworks a traditional folk song and pays homage to Diack So, a late musician from Ali’s generation. The instrumentals “Future” and “Peace” punctuate and complement the vocal tracks. (Check out Sidiki Diabate’s kora on those cuts.) Mon Pays closes with “Ay Bakoy,” which features Israeli pianist Idan Raichel—whom Toure teamed up with for The Toure-Raichel Collective’s The Tel Aviv Session. It’s striking to hear Raichel’s acoustic piano in this context, and his runs fit right in.

TITLE TIME

More By Vieux Farka Touré

You May Also Like