Jimi Mbaye

Dakar Heart

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This solo debut from Youssou N'Dour's lead guitarist is filled with all the bounce and beauty associated with mbalax, a unique hybrid of Senegalese pop. Indeed, the first track, "Youssour Madjiguene," is a lovely tribute to the man that perhaps came closer than any other African artist to crossing over to world pop stardom. Mbaye continues the tradition with a collection of bright songs with universally infectious hooks. His tight guitar lines are most remarkable, because they never overpower a lovely melody. Mbaye's voice, while a bit thin, is well set in the polished production. Be warned, the extra layer of polish on his sound may not be to the taste of some world music fans. But if you want pure, bright mbalax, look no further.

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