Album review: Rokia Traoré, Beautiful Africa (Nonesuch)
The daughter of a Malian diplomat, Rokia Traoré is perhaps the most naturally cross-cultural of her country's abundant musical offspring, effortlessly blending styles and sounds as easily as she switches between languages.
Ironically, the most Western-sounding rock groove of this John Parish-produced album is the title-track – elsewhere, the balance between guitar and ngoni is lightly sustained in the slinky, surging undulations of “Sikey” and subtle funk of “Ka Moun Ké”. Whether celebrating the women of Bamako in “Sarama” or addressing the “faithful companion of her solitude” in “Mélancolie”, Traoré's enticing voice is compelling throughout, from the keening ululations embellishing “Lalla” to the more contemplative, quietly impassioned delivery of “N'Téri”.
Download: Lalla; Kouma; N'Téri; Ka Moun Ké
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
Alien 5: Sigourney Weaver will reprise Ripley role in new movie, says director Neill Blomkamp
Eurovision 2015: Finnish punk band with learning disabilities applies to raise awareness
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl: First look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Drake matches The Beatles' record with 14 singles in top 100 chart at the same time
Aidan Turner interview: 'being a sex symbol is a little awkward'
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'