Review: Chris Stapleton, Q Nov 1994

Senagalese modernist Baaba Maal follows his finely crafted Lam Toro album with a brasher set notable less for its delicate African shadings and more for its moves towards dance music. Swing Yela offers raga, Senegal-style; Gorel marries big bass and a kicking drum programme; while the opener, Sidiki, sets Maal’s strident voice against some raucous lead guitar work. Apart from these voguish attractions, Maal hauls in a string section for Njilou and a fine semi-acoustic backing for Ba, but saves his best shots for the raspingly innovative Samaduniya and African Woman – the latter’s English lyrics were a mistake but the roaring horns and salsa rhythms make it one of the album’s high points. ***