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Nothing's in Vain (Coono du réér)

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
There's been a back-to-acoustic-roots trend among African artists recently, and even the big names don't seem exempt. Salif Keita's done it, and here Youssou N'Dour's at it -- which proves to be no bad thing. His recent output has been quite schizophrenic, divided between albums aimed at a Western audience and those for his native Senegal, with the more hardcore m'balax sound that made him popular in the first place reserved for the African releases. While the easy melodies of Nothing's in Vain Coono Du Réér place it far more within the Afro-pop category than much of his previous work, it's still a real gem, bringing in traditional musicians alongside his band, as on the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
There's been a back-to-acoustic-roots trend among African artists recently, and even the big names don't seem exempt. Salif Keita's done it, and here Youssou N'Dour's at it -- which proves to be no bad thing. His recent output has been quite schizophrenic, divided between albums aimed at a Western audience and those for his native Senegal, with the more hardcore m'balax sound that made him popular in the first place reserved for the African releases. While the easy melodies of Nothing's in Vain Coono Du Réér place it far more within the Afro-pop category than much of his previous work, it's still a real gem, bringing in traditional musicians alongside his band, as on the opening "Tan Bi," which works gorgeously, the harp-like kora intersecting with N'Dour's rhythm section. The keening griot wail which has typified so much of his work is absent here, allowing for more subtlety of infection and tone. While that might be a bit of a necessity as he grows older, it also reinforces the fact that Youssou is one of the world's great singers, capable of wrapping and communicating emotion in a note or phrase -- even if you don't understand a word of Wolof or French, since several of the pieces, like his version of "Il N'Ya Pas D'Amour Heureux," are in French. And when he does break into English, on "Look This Way" and "Africa, Dream Again," it's not the ridiculous, gushing lyrics that have appeared on some of his more recent discs. Yes, there are too many lush keyboards for it to fully qualify as a true acoustic release, and the low-key tamas juddering across "Yaru" do sometimes make you wish the band would kick into high gear, but overall this is N'Dour's most focused and accomplished disc in a long time. Maybe it's a new path, maybe it's a breathing space while he decides what to do next, maybe he just wanted a change. Whatever the reason, it works.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/22/2002
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • UPC: 075597965421
  • Catalog Number: 79654
  • Sales rank: 73,088

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Youssou N'Dour Primary Artist, Vocals
Youssou Camara Drums
Habib Faye Bass, Guitar, Keyboards
Manu Katché Drums
Jimi Mbaye Guitar
Ouzin Ndiaye Background Vocals
Pape Oumar Ngom Guitar
Jean-Philippe Rykiel Keyboards
Régis Gizavo Accordion
Pascal Obispo Guitar, Vocals
Crescendo Background Vocals
Alain Bergé Drums
Pierre Jaconelli Guitar
Sokhna Cissoko Background Vocals
Baboulaye Sissokho Kora
Jaco Largent African Percussion
Helene Faussart Background Vocals
Celia Faussart Background Vocals
Viviane N'Dour Background Vocals
Ibrahima Cisse Keyboards
Technical Credits
David Bither Executive Producer
Philippe Brun Engineer
Greg Calbi Mastering
Habib Faye Producer
MBaye N'Diaye Contributor
Youssou N'Dour Producer, Engineer
Michel Sauvage Engineer
Assane Thaim Tama
Matthew Vaughan Programming
Pascal Obispo Producer
Volodia Engineer
Thomas Rome Executive Producer, translation
Christophe Voisin Programming
Ndiaga Ndour Engineer
Michelle Lahana Executive Producer
Gregg Schaufeld Editorial Coordinator
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    WHAT IS THERE TO SAY?

    The man is greatness personified musically. You would be doing yourself a great injustice to not purchase this for your collection.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Wonderful, buy it!

    Youssou N'Dour has made a beautiful album here, maybe the best of his career. Its melodies are magical and arresting - sometimes lilting, sometimes somber, always sung with passion. "Nothing's in Vain" breathes life into the traditional Senegalese instruments (kora, xalam, balafon, tokoro and talking drum) N'Dour has chosen to feature, and the palpitating heart of mbalax underlies the whole record. This is a gem. He has really put it all together.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews