The gentleman is sensitive, his sentiments are beautiful, his lyrics reflect the simplicity of village life and thoughts and his voice is soothing. All these characteristics make "From Village To Town" a different, offbeat sound that has the potential of being liked by a genuine music lover.
His voice washes over us in persuasive waves and although a large part of the album may not be understood on a literal level, unless you happen to know Senegalese, it does communicate effectively with the sense of rhythm, beat and melody that each of us possess.
The album comes with English lyrics, which are worth a peek. Among the individual tracks, "Wiri-Wiri" and "Birima" are listenable, "Please Wait" has a remarkably freshness to it, and "New Africa" - which urges the citizens of that continent to join forces and work together for its progress, contains a message for all nations. Finally, there's "Yama" - a song dedicated to a phenomenal lady who lives in an un-named fishing village in Africa. It's songs like this alongwith "Beykat" and "Liggeey" that capture our heart with their artlessness.
Youssou N'Dour comes almost like a messenger through his album, bearing the simple values of old long forgotten by feet that regularly traverse the city's grimy sidewalks.This article was first published on 12 Jun 2000.