Baaba Maal Television

Baaba Maal Television
This album aims to nudge one of Africa's biggest stars into the North American consciousness. Maal mixes electronic elements with the welcome addition of Sabina Sciubba (vocals) and Didi Gutman (keyboards) of Brazilian Girls. Television explores concepts of mass communication and unity in Africa and worldwide, voicing support for African women's empowerment in the graceful wails and soft loops of "A Song for Women," and prayers for peace amid large-scale change on the eerie/hopeful "Miracle." Maal dusts smart samples over his unmistakable base of warm guitar and kora, firm chants and percussion, with enticing results. The rim shots and insistent choruses on "International" hint at tribal gatherings inspiring revolution through connection, while lush acoustic incantations illustrate lunar awe on standout "Dakar Moon." Album closer "Tindo Quando," a familiar, slower African tune, marks what Maal acknowledges as "a nomad returned home." Television builds on a storied career and the journey remains worth taking. (Palm)