Maciré Sylla is a young Guinean woman singer, backed here by an Afro-European band and recorded in Switzerland. Maya Irafama is at times an intriguing album, though at its best is vaguely reminiscent of other international African stars. This is due in part to the similarity of Sylla's voice to that of superdiva Angelique Kidjo, most evident on the opener, "Dariono," which borrows (quite well) the distinctive driving bass drum and staccato guitar lines so often used by the Beninoise star.
On other pieces the pernicious influence of generic arrangement and production that haunt much work out of nearby Paris are evident; Sylla's voice withers over these soulless tracks. Without sounding overly negative about the album as a whole, the packaging is not the most informative; listeners receive brief synopses of the lyrics of four of the songs, a list of players, and inside the folding CD liner, a color photo of Sylla. Hopefully, Sylla and Trace will build on this promising start and push to deliver even more original music. - Craig Tower
Comment on this music or the web site.
Write a Letter to the Editor