Album Review: Azel, by Bombino

Azel is the third album from Bombino, an international rock and blues musician from Niger. Following political and civil unrest in his homeland, Bombino taught himself how to play guitar and now,15 years later, is considered by many to be one of the finest guitar musicians in the world. His guitar work is simply brilliant on Azel, with the frantic energy to match any rock band and the blues sensibiliby of Jimi Hendrix. All the lyrics are sung in Bombino's native language of Tamasheq. He sings about both the geopolitical situation in Niger and Africa, along with extremely personal songs about love and friendship. The production is tight and simple, allowing Bombino's skill to shine, especially on tracks like "Iyat Ninhay / Jaguar (A Great Desert I Saw)," which feels like an endless, hypnotic stream of great guitar solos. Other tracks on the LP are more tender and laidback, such as the acoustic and heartfelt "Igmayagh Dum (My Lover)." More standouts on the LP include the lead single "Akhar Zaman (This Moment)" and the upbeat "Tamiditine Tarhanam (My Love, I Tell You)." Overall, Bombino has laid out 10 more excellent tracks that are sure to please fans and casual listeners alike on Azel, as he continues to make his mark as one of the finest guitar players in the world.

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