Rokku Mi Rokka
The chattering classes had a field day with Rokku Mi Rokka, proclaiming it both a stunning return to form and further proof that N'Dour's will sell his soul to cross over (this time while capitalizing on the recent popularity of desert blues bands). Ease up, guys. Minus a few miscalculations (including, sadly, the duet with Neneh Cherry), this is a lovely album. When N'Dour is on, he opens a door in you and walks right in -- and he's on for a lot of Rokku. His explorations of Senegalese border music in particular give his soaring voice lots of room to maneuver.