When Habib KoitÉ was in New York City recently, he stated that, in comparison with his previous discs, Baro was a "quiet" album.
When Habib Koité was in New York City recently, he stated that, in comparison with his previous discs, Baro was a "quiet" album. Indeed, the album relies more on acoustic instrumentation, and Koité's danssa doso style is rendered in a particularly contemplative manner. Such songs as "Kanawa," "Wari," and the title track are melodies endowed with tremendous warmth that take their heart from Malian traditional music; they discreetly incorporate Western elements, such as the tuning of Koité's guitar in "Wari." Koité also ventures into the range of Latin influences, invoking a Cuban rhythmic pulse on "Batoumambe" and essaying a very hip remake of "Cigarette Abana," the song that gave Koité his first hit single in West Africa (subsequently featured on his 1997 album Muso Ko). Less robust than previous records, Baro is a subtler enchantment.—PVV