Youssou N’Dour & Le Super Etoile de Dakar, Immigrés

Keith Harris

By Keith Harris

on 09.07.11 in Reviews
Revealing N’Dour’s ambitions as a pan-African spokesman

N’Dour recorded his international debut in Paris in 1984, but these four cuts (slightly remixed) didn’t reach the U.S. until four years later. By then he’d sung on So and drummed on Graceland, embarked on the Amnesty International tour with Springsteen, U2, Gabriel and Sting, and released his stiff, tame U.S. debut, Nelson Mandela. (Its cover of the Spinners’ “The Rubberband Man” could well define world-music crossover gone wrong.) On the title track, N’Dour’s new band Super Étoile show what they could do when they stretched out, while its rallying cry to his displaced brothers and sisters reveals his ambitions as a pan-African spokesman.