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Amadou & Mariam by carlywolkoff

amadoumaliEurocentrism manifests itself in crazy ways— whether it’s Madonna’s urge to save as many Malawian children as possible, or Coldplay’s decision to choose Mali- sensations Amadou & Mariam to be their opening act, the British are finally feeling a sense of guilt for decades of African colonization.  Regardless, Amadou & Mariam have garnered international fame. And it’s about time their musical prowess captivated the souls of Westerners, like it has the rest of the world.

The story of Amadou & Mariam’s formation is so romantic, its almost unbelievable.  The married couple originally met in Mali at Bamako’s Institute for the Young Blind where they were united by their shared passion for music, which inspired them to make music of their own.  Aww. 

The duo’s latest album, “Welcome to Mali,” was released in the States only a few weeks ago. While their music definitely suggests African influences, it is too eclectic to just be pigeonholed into one category.  There’s some very apparent Latin, as well as American Rock ‘n’ Roll touches, classifying it as more world music, if anything .  The best track off of the album is the catchy “Sabali,” though the music video is beyond bizarre. 

Just like Amadou & Mariam had to overcome obvious barriers (blindness) in order to make music, the listener will have to overcome language barriers in order to truly enjoy the music.  Their beautiful music will speak to you in such a way that the words will become irrelevant. 

-Carly Wolkoff

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