Youssou N'Dour is a Senegalese singer who documents the intersection of the past and the present, so it is no surprise that there is a parable in every song on Wommat (The Guide). The record is propelled by talking drums, a horn section and guitar and bass polyrhythms that will sound familiar to fans of South African township music (or Paul Simon's masterpiece Graceland), and N'Dour's distinctive voice (in Wolof and French, with a smattering of English) is captivating. Unfortunately, The Guide is overproduced and seldom lives up to the promise of "7 Seconds," the vaguely menacing duet with Neneh Cherry. Buy it to hear N'Dour's voice soar through the history and lessons of The Guide.
AllMusic Review by Peter Stepek