Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Hama Sankare: Niafunké [Clermont Music, 2019]
Exclusively Malian in both production and personnel, Sankare's second album bears his subtle stamp without matching the bite or power of his debut. In both sound and trot all the songs seem strictly moralistic and hortatory. True, "Remobe" ("Development starts with agriculture") is more upbeat with a livelier solo than the solemn "Tiega Mali" ("Today Mali suffers--killings, banditry--we are tearing each other apart"). But though I can imagine playing "Tiega Mali" if something like the Bamako Radisson Blu attack happened again, as I hope against hope it never does, the likes of "Remobe," fine and even fun though they are, has less apparent use value at this distance. B+