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NY Times: Rokia Traoré's Beautiful Africa

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Friday September 20, 2013

From The New York Times

Rokia Traoré
BEAUTIFUL AFRICA
By: Jon Pareles

The Malian singer Rokia Traoré has a gentle voice with a steely core, one that’s revealed more clearly than ever on “Beautiful Africa” (Nonesuch). The album was produced by John Parish, who does for Ms. Traoré what he’s done for P. J. Harvey and Eels: stripping away all unnecessary prettiness, focusing on a handful of instruments and a fully exposed voice, scratches and all. The album captures songs as they meditate, like “Mélancolie,” or spontaneously combust, like “Kouma,” about seduction and betrayal, and “Sikey,” about defying caste.

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