Press Clipping
01/07/2019
Article
Global A Go-Go

Mali’s Salif Keita, the 69 year old “golden voice of Africa,” says this will be his last album. He’s going out in style with a set that captures him in peak voice, with glossy arrangements that harken back to his classic 1987 album Soro that is for some the epitome of Afropop. Keita came to fame singing for the Super Rail Band and Les Ambassadeurs, two of the greatest bands from the first generation of independent, post-colonial West Africa. When he moved to Paris in 1984 and began making music for a multi-continental audience, some called it a sellout and others cheered on an African going toe-to-toe with world fusion artists like Peter Gabriel. What was never questioned, however, was the quality of Keita’s voice – it’s prized across Africa and around the world for its purity and soulfulness. At his advanced age, it’s amazing how great Keita’s instrument still sounds; check out track 1 where he sings in praise of the leader of African independence. Hilariously, he’s Auto-Tuned on track 9 – no singer has ever needed Auto-Tuning less than Salif Keita. Angelique Kidjo gives a star turn in her duet performance on 4, but there’s no upstaging the man himself in his finale.