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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Immigrés

Youssou N'Dour

1984

Immigrés
Album Summary

Immigrés is an album by Senegalese singer and percussionist Youssou N'Dour. AllMusic remarks that the album is "a good part of what put [N'Dour] on the international map".

Wikipedia

Rating

3.05

Votes

11133

Genres

  • World

Reviews

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Sat Aug 07 2021
5

The sound of being at a late-night backyard party illuminated by string lights on a hot summer night with a glass bottle in your hand. Really fun, and has no bloat at all.

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Mon Sep 14 2020
4

Not the type of music i would usually listen, but i loved it. The production is really good, all the drums sound fantastic and the vocals are wonderful.

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Tue Jun 08 2021
3

“Immigrés” by Youssou N’Dour (1988) Gipsy Kings, meet Bob Marley. The West African country Senegal is the grand exception to the dictum “The worst thing you can be is a former French colony”. And Senegal is perhaps is the world’s best hope for an exemplary and peaceable Mohammedan nation. Out of Senegal comes N’Dour (one of Paul Simon’s collaborators on his album “Graceland” [1986–percussion on “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes”]—Simon may have “appropriated” African musicians, but it sure didn’t hurt their subsequent careers). N’Dour is an able vocalist who has assembled a sizable team of performers in this rhythmic treat. This is your horizon-expanding opportunity to enlarge the musical palate. The lyrics to the opening song “Immigrés” playfully give sage advice to those who are contesting a disputed election: Have a cookie and get over it. I laughed out loud. However, I was unable find any other lyrics online (too bad—they are in Wolof, I believe, and are essential for seriously assessing this work), but the real substance of this album is the colorful and exciting instrumental work, especially percussion. The four tracks are multidimensional, well-composed, evocative, and extended. Sorry, I had to give up on “Taaw”—I could never find the groove. Play this as background music while you work, and you’ll not only be efficient, but you’ll also be eager to wrap your arms around a world of music. Who could ask for more on a Monday morning? 3/5

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Sat Aug 07 2021
5

This album is awesome. The songs were long but never got boring. Consistently fun throughout.

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Thu Apr 22 2021
3

Decent world music, interesting to hear once but that's it

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Thu Mar 11 2021
5

I quite like world music, so I enjoyed this one.

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Tue Nov 10 2020
4

Very pleasant listen. As with much African music, I can't quite put my finger on what I do and don't like.

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Fri Feb 19 2021
4

Fun rhythms, fun melodies and instrumentals. This is such interesting, moving music!

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Thu Apr 22 2021
3

Great experience getting some exposure to Senegal, but I still find it absurd to randomly throw in world content into a list of popular genres.

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Tue Jun 29 2021
5

Really liked this! Don't have much to say, it was groovy. 9

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Sun Aug 07 2022
5

Oh, this is wonderful. Joyful, richly arranged, musically gorgeous songs. Youssou N'Dour has really found the sweet spot where traditional Senegalese sounds blend perfectly with hints of Western pop, funk and jazz. The synths are actually pretty restrained and balanced for that era, so I don't know why anyone would single them out for criticism. Overall, this is really splendid. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): Taaw, Badou, Immigrés/Bitim Rew, Pitche Mi

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Thu Mar 04 2021
3

Not something I would usually listen to, but pretty good. Good musicianship.

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Wed Apr 07 2021
3

Nice change. Can feel the 80's in this one.

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Wed Mar 24 2021
3

Really interesting to hear Senegalese music. Throughly enjoyed it to begin with but couldn't listen for too long

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Thu Mar 11 2021
2

This is straight up Senegalese music. Lots of percussion/African band sound. 4/10.

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Wed Oct 13 2021
2

2.5 | No me terminó de convencer. Aprecio que esté bien hecho y que su calidad de compositor y mezcla con ritmos es correcta. De hecho hasta humor tenía para algo tipo Afro Beat, pero no me terminó de cuajar. Si lo comparo con algo como Fela Kuti siento que al menos en este disco Fela gana de calle facilmente. Quizá es la instrumentación, se termina escuchando con las partes electrónicas medio... apagadas? No estoy seguro pero simplemente fue un disco que vino, se fue y no encendió mucho en mí, aunque se escucha tecnicamente correcto. Para ser tantos ritmos africanos algo le falta de caracter.

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Thu Nov 02 2023
2

Nice enough vibe but I don’t really enjoy his tone.

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Thu Dec 21 2023
2

Instrumental is nice but the vocals are not my type.

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Fri Oct 22 2021
5

Joyous. I saw him on Peter Gabriel’s “So”tour in 1986. Became a huge fan. This is a great album!

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Wed Apr 13 2022
5

Fun, upbeat, different to what I would usually listen to. Honestly thoroughly enjoyed listening to this short album.

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Fri Nov 11 2022
5

Wow, this viscerally takes me back to my childhood. Sub 10 - maybe 6 or 7? My very first media device of any description, that was mine rather than the family's, was a crystal radio kit. You pushed the components into a perforated cardboard circuit board, wired them up, connected a wire to a radiator to act as an antenna, and listened through a little ear piece that looked like an old fashioned hearing aid. It had no power source of its own, and seemed like magic to me! It was not capable of picking up too many radio stations, but one thing it reliably picked up quite strongly was a show playing world music that sounded a lot like this. Probably the first music that _I_ sought out for myself, rather than was just passively exposed to. Fave track - "Immigrés/Bitim Rew" I guess, but the whole album is lovely....

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Wed Nov 30 2022
5

I was not familiar with this particular album, but I really love Youssou N'Dour, so this particular assignment came as a "heck yes!" for me. As mentioned in a prior review, it's a bit hard to rate albums that aren't in English because I can't compare songwriting when I don't understand the lyrics. But dang, I love the SOUND of this album. The drums are amazing, the layers of guitar and brass, the sound of the vocals. Just wonderful. Wikipedia tells me that this album was criticized for the use of synthesizers? I like the synth sounds! So there you go. Love it. 5/5

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Mon Feb 20 2023
5

Loved it. I really want to go to Senegal in the meantime I'll listen to big Youssou.

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Thu Feb 23 2023
5

went absolutely crazy on this one. excellent instrumentals, catchy riffs and infectious rhythms. excellent excellent work

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Thu May 18 2023
5

This was a great listen. This was perfect to have on while I'm doing what needs to be done. Lots of very subtle percussion in the background gave the tracks some extra depth.

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Tue Jul 11 2023
5

Familiar funkiness with some greatly influential African twist. You can see N'Dour's fingerprints across so much, and that's a good thing.

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Thu Aug 31 2023
5

Joyful, catchy and easily a relisten

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Sun Oct 22 2023
5

Beautiful album from the former minister of tourism for Senegal

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Fri Nov 03 2023
5

This was great! I loved every moment.

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Tue Dec 12 2023
5

The African entries on this list are mostly top class. This album by the former Senegalese minister of tourism is no exception.

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Tue Dec 12 2023
5

Almost halfway through the list, and the "Other" origin is consistently rated higher than "UK" and "US". A bit surprising to me, but especially the picks from Africa have been excellent, and Immigrés from legend Youssou N'Dour is no exception. A perfect blend of percussion, bass and synth.

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Wed Jan 24 2024
5

Awesome sound. I loved it; my cats loved it.

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Thu Jan 25 2024
5

Brilliant, of course. 5 stars.

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Sun Jan 28 2024
5

Im a fan of juju music and I am surprised that King Sunny Ade didn't make this list. However, this album certainly rivals his best work. Great record. Amazing voice and great instrumentation.

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Wed Jan 31 2024
5

Enjoyed all of this album very much, had never heard it in full before. No wonder western musicians were queuing up to collaborate! Will certainly be listening again. I can't think of anything I'd change so in the absence of 9 out of 10 I've rounded up. 5 stars from husband, too.

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Fri Feb 09 2024
5

Joyous! Superb voice, superb rhythm. Been watching the AFCON 2024 and the crazy scenes, so this feels timely. sadly for Youssou, Senegal got knocked out. My awareness of him extends basically to 7 Seconds, so this was lovely to hear his earlier, more traditional work. Although I understand it was criticised for using synths. Well they aren't intrusive to my ear. I guess when they come in halfway through Taaw they arguably take away more than add to the rhythm, but otherwise. This is just a delight, uplifting and fantastic from start to finish. Obviously I haven't a scooby what he's singing about, which is a shame, as from what I can work out he's a sound geezer. I didn't want Badou to end, 5 minutes wasn't enough!

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Fri Feb 16 2024
5

Really good music. This is the type of s*** that I want when I started listening to a list of albums like this.

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Wed Apr 03 2024
5

I know nothing about this at all but saw on Spotify that this dude was on "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel and that's how the larger world population found out about him. I can get quite into African music because it's so different to so much else, and I am enjoying this from the first chords. This rules. It's catchy while still being strange and meandering.

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Thu May 02 2024
5

This was super sweet. I loved it. Awesome vocals and I loved the rhythms and guitar work. Cool stuff

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Wed May 22 2024
5

Really fun sound. I had never heard this before, but I love this kind of thing. Great party music.

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Mon Jun 03 2024
5

Just amazing. Put this on right as I headed out to walk the dog, and what a great listen on a nice breezy 63 degree (F) morning!

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Sun Jun 09 2024
5

Jeg lå og vippede mellem en 4'er og en 5'er, for jeg ved ikke, hvor ofte den vil komme på i fremtiden, men jeg blev simpelthen i for godt humør til at rate den andet. Fantastisk instrumentation, interessant stemme, rigtigt sommeralbum

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Wed Jun 12 2024
5

N'Dour takes the jazzy relaxed open feel of 70s West African Golden-era of Afro-Cuban rumba (from his Star Band de Dakar days) and opens it up. This album lowers the role of the guitar and makes space to incorporate more Senegalese musical traditions (the interwoven griot-style vocals, the wide range of hand drums and the talking drum) and for some smooth jazz sounding horns/keyboards. The horns are great, but the keys, combined with the very 80s production and the bass tone in particular, do give this a very corny dated feel. Along with Salif Keita's, N'Dour is one of the cornerstones of the whole Putomayo world music 'genre' and forged a sound that would become the somewhat stultifying generic default for West African musicians seeking an international audience, combining glossy global sheen with the authenticating use of local instruments. But here in its nascent stage, there's plenty of energy and excitement to the music, and even the corny keyboard sounds have an endearing nostalgic wistfulness to them.

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Thu May 06 2021
4

Fun, party music. Whoever the drummer is on this, he is putting in WORK. Weirdly I feel like Maiden fans might enjoy "Pitche Me". Favorite track: "Pitche Me"

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Fri Jun 11 2021
4

i like this alot eventhough its lyrics are a mystery

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Mon Jan 25 2021
4

Loving this so far, beachy boat music. perfect for a nice sun nap.

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Thu Jun 03 2021
4

Very cool, interesting sounds and unique instrument combinations. Enjoyable.

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Wed May 12 2021
4

Mellow afrobeat, this opens a whole new world.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
4

Immigrés is an album by Senegalese singer and percussionist Youssou N'Dour. AllMusic remarks that the album is "a good part of what put [N'Dour] on the international map"

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Fri May 14 2021
4

I feel like I should be able to mark 'listened' and 'enjoyed,' but also that I am wildly unqualified to put a rating on this, given how little I know about African music.

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Wed Jun 09 2021
4

What a fun, chill, relaxing album. Spent the rest of the day listening to his other albums!

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Fri Apr 02 2021
4

Great percussion and voice. Very upbeat.

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Tue Jun 29 2021
4

Interesting sounds but pretty repetitive. I’m glad it was short. 7

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Tue Jun 29 2021
4

8/10. Pretty good, I see why I had to learn about this guy in French class

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Tue Jun 29 2021
4

8/10 I really loved the beats and instrumentals on this, and it was a nice change of pace from Western music. However, I found it repetitive at times and sometimes the vocals sounded really nasal in a way that I didn't care for

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Sun Jul 04 2021
4

Enjoyed this one. The reason I follow this list is to introduce me to great music I perhaps wouldn't normally come across, and this fits that bill perfectly

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Sun Mar 21 2021
4

New to me. So so good. Saving it.

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Sun May 16 2021
4

Really good. Hypnotic. I was worried as I didn't like his stuff that I knew.

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Wed Jun 09 2021
4

Happy, easy listening. Good for the background of another activity.

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Wed Aug 11 2021
4

really nice! While I've listened to perhaps more music from Africa than the average person this is new to me. Not sure I would purchase it but happy to have heard it.

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Wed Aug 18 2021
4

Some great beats, perfect to have on in the background when you have a garden party.

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Fri Sep 10 2021
4

This is great… another smashing African album I wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to!

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Wed Oct 06 2021
4

Honestly, not bad. I liked it way more than I thought I would. I just don't see myself revisiting it too often

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Wed Oct 13 2021
4

Un disco increíblemente ecléctico, pero agradable de escuchar, especialmente la primera canción. Está interesante porque no se parece a nada que haya escuchado antes; la mezcla de tambores con metales y guitarra, con un ritmo que no se parece a nada que haya escuchado antes.

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Mon Oct 25 2021
4

Loved this. Amazing voice, and a fascinating sound.

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Wed Oct 27 2021
4

Great album. 4 Heard it while reading the bible. Matched the vibe

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Thu Nov 18 2021
4

sounds important i guess. fun and short! 4 stars

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Wed Jan 05 2022
4

I was not expecting to like this one, but was surprised to find a really enjoyed it! Pitche Mi was a standout, so emotional.

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Fri Jan 14 2022
4

This sounds less commercial than the YND stuff that he put out a few years later. The first song caught my attention about half way thru and the next two were quite enjoyable. I like the rambling percussion, the loose arrangements the guitar in Pitche MI. And of course the voice.

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Fri Jan 14 2022
4

I can't put it in words but there's something about the singing style in Senegalese music that is quite soothing. He sings this way and is also able to hit notes in an expanded range. My favourite bits are songs with the traditional African guitar melodies as in Taaw. While this album has  lovely percussion throughout, the album doesn't hit its potential since the production doesn't do justice. I need to use my imagination to think how amazing  his singing on Pitche Mi must be live or with recording / producing capabilities from even 10 - 20 years later.  I quite like Senegalese music and would have a 5 for music from that country but I feel like I'm  rounding up here.

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Sun Jan 16 2022
4

pretty groovy, I don’t think I’d want to listen to it more than once but for what it was it was pretty fun 7/10

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Wed Jan 26 2022
4

Well shit, I'm gonna have to remember this one when I'm grilling, hammocking, or otherwise relaxing this summer. I don't know what the lyrics are about, but the music is really fun. I also like the length of this record. It's almost not an LP. Four tracks at a total of 34 minutes. That must barely make the cut. Anyway, these songs need to be longer (liket he 11+ minute "Taaw"). Because they sort of lure you into a groove. And, for me at least, I don't really ever want it to end. Also, I feel like there is a lot of mastering compression happening on this record, and sometimes it has a really cool effect of smooshing everything into a wall of sound that is only driver forward by the hand percussion. Loved it.

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Wed Feb 23 2022
4

Immigrés by Youssou N'Dour. I had heard his backing vocals in a number of songs most notably "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel. First time listening to his own music which is classified as mbalax, a mixture of traditional Sengalese and latin-styles and was huge in Africa. This album is four songs. All songs are dominated by his tenor voice and a slew of percussions. Mostly rhythm driven. The one exception is the second song "Pitche Mi" where you really hear the Latin and guitar influence. "Taaw" is the highlight with its rolling bass and heavy percussion. Paul Simon was most definitely listening to this for his album "Graceland." Overall, I'm surprised at how much I enjoyed this album and music.

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Fri Mar 18 2022
4

Leuk album. Wereldmuziek in een modern jasje

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Sun May 08 2022
4

Wow this is a great album. Jazzy, funky with amazing guitar and fantastic percussion. I loved it. 4.5 🌟

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Fri May 13 2022
4

Whatever he’s selling, I’m buying. 4 stars

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Wed May 18 2022
4

Heerlijk albumpje met andere muziek als normaal, top

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Thu Jun 02 2022
4

Overall, a solid album. I really enjoyed the funky beats and the general vibe. Though I have to admit the first half of the album is 4 stars for me and the second half is only 3 stars. But what can you do? It is definitely worth a listen. Giving this 4 stars because I like the vocals and I'm feeling generous today. Fave track: Title track.

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Fri Jun 24 2022
4

This was a wonderful soundtrack to today.

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