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Amadou & Mariam: Welcome to Mali

Ben Thompson, The Observer, 9 November 2008

IF YOU HADN'T EVER HEARD A RECORD by this Malian husband and wife duo, but had only read of their initial meeting at Bamako's Institut des Jeunes Aveugles in the punk rock year of 1976, and the heart-warming showbiz odyssey that led them to their current exalted status as improbable figureheads of African music's commercial upsurge, it would be all too easy to think of Amadou & Mariam as a kind of Afropop Peters and Lee. But while the ability to dispense feelgood vibrations from within a doubly reinforced stockade of blindness and domestic felicity has been a feature of their ever-widening allure, it is the spindly irresistibility of their music that is the most important thing about them.

Total word count of piece: 507

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