Senegal Moon

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On her fourth album (not counting seasonal releases), Serah continues to produce lush recordings of atmospheric ballads, suggesting an American expatriate Enya singing with a Midwestern twang rather than an Irish lilt. This highly produced album (with Dire Straits producer Neil Dorfsman behind the board) is the artist's version of Graceland, merging her simple, folky melodies with African instrumentation, music, and vocals. This makes for an odd juxtaposition, as the backup singers alternately wail in their native languages and join Serah in her sensitively sung, poetically vague lyrics full of references to nature, romance, music, and France (where the album was recorded). As usual, this singer-songwriter's sincerity and seriousness of purpose are undercut by her preciousness and pretentiousness.

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