With cigarette smoking having gradually declined in the U.S., Africa is one of the places where tobacco companies have been aggressively promoting their cancer-causing product. So you can bet that the tobacco industry wasn't happy when, in 1991, Habib Koite's anti-smoking single "Cigarette A Bana" (which translates to "The Cigarette Is Finished" or "No More Cigarette") became an enormous hit not only in the singer/guitarist's native Mali, but all over West Africa. That smash, which made Koite a superstar in that part of the world, is among the 11 gems heard on his first album, Muso Ko--a CD that was first released in West Africa in 1995 and was reissued in the U.S. by Alula in 1999. In Mali, Muso Ko was praised for its often topical lyrics, and in Europe, world beat enthusiasts found themselves drawn to the evocative, soulful sound of his music--you can have no knowledge of West African dialects and still be captivated by Muso Ko's haunting melodies and addictive rhythms. For those with even a casual interest in African pop, Muso Ko is essential listening.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson