Ismaël Lô

Iso

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An album comprised largely of Afrobeat sounds for Lo's third release. The music moves, however, from pure Afrobeat, on to piano-accompanied vocal work, vaguely in the vocal jazz/pop singer style. Lo's vocal prowess on the album is stunning, as would be expected. There are less parallels in general to other Senegalese and/or Malian singers, as there were on other albums. Lo seems to be defining his own style a bit more clearly here, as he was progressing through his career. The songs deal with topics ranging from the inevitability of death to the pain of arranged marriages to love for his mother. Musically, the album is probably a step up from Diawar, but both are worthwhile. Pick it up as a fan of Lo, or as a fan of the West African vocal traditions.

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