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Amadou & Mariam, Folila (Because) ***
THIS husband-and-wife team from Mali have become superstars of world music.
The attention brought by this elevation might be much deserved, but it does bring problems in the shape of their new western friends.
These collaborative affairs have their moments, and the best here are delivered first: opening track Dougou Badie blazes away fantastically as Amadou swaps guitar licks with Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs; and Wily Kataso is given a soulfully atmospheric setting by TV On The Radio (who appeared last year on a track or two with desert bluesmen Tinawiren).
Elsewhere, the guest slots are filled less imaginatively, and it is only when you reach the lovely closing track, Chérie, which is unadorned by starry friends but instead boasts a children’s choir, that you are reminded why this duo does not need any such assistance, however attention grabbing.