The Senegalese singer’s star has waned since his startling arrival a decade ago, but this lavishly produced fifth album finds him back on form. Recorded in Sweden and Paris, it’s packed with sleek mbalax grooves, mixing funk horns and talking drums, and fronted by Lô’s sweet, dancing vocals, at times falsetto, at others husky. There’s a lovely cross-Atlantic fusion on Degg Gui, with Brazilian chanteuse Flavia Coelho, a duet with Mali’s Oumou Sangaré, and a sultry title track threaded with the Miles-like trumpet of Ibrahim Maalouf. A follower of Baye Fall, a mystic Islamic sect, Lô is a peace warrior on a mission, the light to Boko Haram’s darkness, as Baissons les Armes suggests.
Cheikh Lô: Balbalou review – back on form with a sleek and sultry set
Neil Spencer is a writer and an astrologer for The Observer