M'Bemba is a largely acoustic album with a strong feel for Keita's Mande roots. And his core group of musicians is more or less unchanged. Kante Manfila, his old colleague from the Malian supergroup Les Ambassadeurs brings back his beautifully realised arrangements and distinctive instrumental voice on guitar. Ditto long-term sidekick Ousmane Kouyaté and Djelly Moussa Kouyaté. Percussionist Mino Cinelu is still creating marvellously cinematic atmospheres. There's a swooping female chorus haunting most tracks, and producer Jean Lamoot is still exerting his guiding influence on Keitas sometimes erratic taste.
But Mbemba has a lusher, more saturated sound, and it's upbeat, featuring the kind of studio effects and urgency of voice that characterised 1987 album Soro.
You can find the full review here.