This had every chance of being a great record, documenting the music of the Tuareg, the people who live on the edge of the Sahel, connecting the cultures of West and North Africa in their music. And it starts off well enough with the raw, throaty flute that opens "Ca C'Est Ya." The first few tracks are very rooted, almost Arabic in their sensibility and scales; they are a mix of the very basic -- clapping and singing -- with some acoustic instruments and electric guitar sneaking in most effectively thanks to the excellent Tinariwen, who is featured on two tracks. It even makes sense when the rapping begins (by MC Champion et les Star Boys), since hip-hop has become a global form. But once the French musicians Le Chauffeur Est Dans le Pre enter the fray, everything goes downhill. They try to be subtle about it, to be fair, but they end up being intrusive, imposing their music on the Tuareg, when it would have been more satisfying if they'd just listened and recorded instead. This is evidently intended as a diary of a journey; the only problem is that it's more than observations.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Chris Nickson