Carlou D.


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Carlou D's first global release is actually his follow-up to his Senegalese debut. He's a child of the hip-hop generation having been in Positive Black Soul (arguably Africa's biggest hip-hop band) before going solo. He's an accomplished singer (and pretty fair guitar player) with a strong falsetto, with a mastery of several styles, including m'balax on "Il Touba," and the softer ballad of "Goree," where he's given a helping hand by Youssou N'Dour, an imprimatur of greatness. The man's hip-hop past breaks through in the rhythms of "Senegal" and also "Meun Nako Def." What's especially pleasing is the use of Senegalese percussion and kora among the instruments -- the kora takes a stunning solo on "Yaaboyo" -- keeping it all very rooted, and nowhere more so than on the percussion-heavy "Dieureudieufe Modou," which even brings in a delicious little rap. Essentially, this is a showcase for Carlou D's many talents. But as he's extremely talented, it works exceedingly well.

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