Taken from the excellent album Welcome To Mali, released over 18 months ago, it’s hard not to be cynical about the timing of this release. I appreciate that Amadou & Mariam played Africa at the 2010 World Cup opening ceremony, but it seems the song’s release so long after the album’s release is something of a shameless cash in on the Africa-mania sweeping across the world in the light of a successful tournament (despite some terrible refereeing).

I say this in part because I don’t feel that the World Cup will actually change any of South Africa’s endemic problems (poverty, crime etc.) – look what happened to Greece after the Olympics – and any song released to coincide with the tournament and hence make money off it should be diverting the profits to actually making a difference.

Perhaps more importantly, Welcome To Mali is a fine Afro-Blues album, soaked through with colour, rainfall and Cuban trumpets and chocked full of fine tracks, but this is not one of them. The politically charged Ce N’est Pas Bon would be preferable and more accurate.

Saying all that, Africa is not bad, Amadou & Mariam remain one of Mali’s finest exports, and CityLifers will continue to support this exceptional couple.

Release Date 12/07/2010 (Because Music)

Chris Gilliver

I started out writing for the Manchester Evening News as a freelance journalist back in 2008. The idea that I would be given free access to music and gigs seemed somehow miraculous to me, and I proceeded to take full advantage of the situation. When the M.E.N. decided to constrict its coverage to only the very biggest bands, Simon Poole approached me with a plan to make sure that all the very talented musicians of this world that pass through and/or live in Manchester would not go unnoticed. As the New Releases editor here at Silent Radio Towers, it remains my proud duty to cast a critical eye over the music and reviews that come my way in a manner that is both supportive and fair. Above all, I strive to write as entertainingly possible. Favourite musicians include the Pixies, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Mercury Rev, Os Mutantes, The Knife, Beach House etc etc. I'm a firm believer that all genres (except nu-metal) contain music of great quality...