It’s Salinger who warns us to separate the art from the artist. And despite recent controversial comments about gold-diggers, Bamako by Simphiwe Dana is pure gold.
Bamako titled after the capital of Mali, which is also the homeland of album collaborator Salif Keita, is a suitable landmark to show just how far Dana has come since her first album. With her first offering, the Yizo-Yizo days, the Zandisile days, Dana set up what a musical career which would be African at least, and ethereal to say the most.
This album plays well into the singer’s strengths; being her soothing voice, relaxed storytelling, and the optimum use of her band and collaborators. Recordings are meant to capture a moment of music, and with this moment, her final moment, Dana leaves her best work, not on digital media, but for when she goes on tour. This album develops that desire in one, to see the singer perform live at least once in their lifetime.
Best songs: Usikhonzile, Uzokhala, Mkhonto@TheRehabJoint08