15 June 2018
Fatoumata Diawara - Fenfo (Something To Say)
Fatoumata Diawara is a Malian singer, who is currently based in France. She has appeared in various films and on stage, as well as pursuing a music career. Her appearances on various soundtracks and collaborations with the likes of Disclosure have given her lots of attention. Fenfo (Something to Say) is her third album which was released on Shanachie Records. Now, after this, I'll be honest that Fatoumata Diawara is not an artist I'm overly familiar with, also this is not a genre I have an extensive knowledge about. But I'm more than willing to give any genre or artist a listen. The cover is a vibrant image, with Ms Diawara on a beach, which contrasts with the red of her dress and the material in the wind. It's a striking image to grab the casual listener's attention, which worlds really well. But, what about the music, how has this turned out?
Fenfo (Something to Say) is a beautifully crafted album, with passionate performances from the musicians involved. From the energetic "Kokoro" to the beautiful "Mama", Ms Diawara sings with a passion and restraint that some artists could learn from. Her vocals never sound stretched or feel as if she is screeching. In other words, she has a natural and fluid voice that does not sound as if she is doing harm to her vocal chords. This gives the music a chill-out vibe, a relaxing atmosphere that acts as another musician on this record. There are some beautiful moments such as "Takamba", a song that could make any pensive soul relax and find solace.
There's a fascinating blending of style on this record. You have Ms Diawara's native Malian's influences being mixed in with a Mediterranian feeling. This combination of sounds is best represented on "Nterini", which has a Euro-Cinema quality, it's a beautiful song which stays with you long after it's finished. Now, here is the rub for me. As I have previously stated, this is a genre which I am not overly familiar with. However, it's also one which I like to invest in every once in a while. Fatoumata Diawara is now an artist I would actively look for, as this album is probably going to be my chill out hit of the year. The music might not be my usual style, but I appreciate and respect the craftsmanship that has been put into this album and it's deserves high praise. Fenfo (Something to Say) might have been an album that I missed, but I'm glad it was brought to my attention. If you're wanting to try something a little different, you sound try this.
7 out of ten - This is good and worth checking out
Top track - Nterini
You can purchase Fenfo (Something to Say) on Amazon here.
You can visit the Fatoumata Diawara website here.
You can follow the activities of Fatoumata Diawara on Facebook here.
You can stream Fenfo (Something to Say) on Spotify here.
You can stream Fenfo (Something to Say) on Deezer here.
You can stream Fenfo (Something to Say) on Tidal here.
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