With his sophomore release, Vieux Farka Toure steps out of the shadow of his late, illustrious father. He's not only developed into a convincing songwriter and singer (but one who happily concedes the microphone to other talents, like Afel Bocoum, who sings on three tracks here), but a stunning guitarist, as well. You can hear traces of his father in his work, but the style is very much his own, flowing and free, rippling almost like a kora, but also throwing in lovely, darting runs, as on "A? Ha?ra," where the fills -- not to mention the solo -- are delicious, powered along by talking drum. It's all ineffably West African, and he's not afraid to play, as most of the tracks top the four-minute mark, leaving lots of room for him to display his fretboard talent. Of course, there are a number of bluesy touches, notably "Souba Souba," which simmers as guitar and ngoni work together. "Slow Jam" lives up to its name perfectly, while the closing reprise of "Fafa" gives a soft acoustic end to the electric opening cut. The use of a drum kit can often bring added urgency to the music, which it does on "Sarama," which is nothing less than primal rock & roll, although Tour? is quite capable of stepping away from all that for an acoustic, hold-your-breath duet with the wonderful Toumani Diabat? for "Paradise," where guitar and kora play simply around a gorgeous melody. With Fondo, Tour? has created a mature, exciting, and jubilant album, and shows himself already a master.
-- All Music Guide
At times the hypnotic grooves acquire a psychedelic tinge; elsewhere they affirm his connection to tradition. A dazzling piece of work.
-- The Guardian
With Fondo, Vieux plays with an elegance that is reminiscent of his father, while also successfully creating a style uniquely his. While some of the Marley’s live off their surname, creating music that lacks artistic talent, with another successful album Vieux establishes himself as a true contemporary talent with a promising future.
-- SF Station
Fondo is the unequivocal announcement of a major talent, and the well-earned accolades are easy to predict. This constitutes the second consecutive triumph for Vieux Farka Toure: this is not world music so much as music from the world, and certain parts of the world we don’t hear or see as often as we should. Mostly, Fondo is the sound of a son escaping his father’s shadow, even as he shrewdly embraces many of the best elements that made his old man so memorable.
-- Pop Matters
The long-awaited follow-up, Fondo, accomplishes many things. First and foremost, it firmly establishes young Toure as a bona fide African guitar hero. Africa — and Mali in particular — is a guitar paradise, but few of its famous axe-men can rock like this.
This is music from a contemporary Africa – urban, sophisticated, globally connected but deeply proud of its ancient heritage. This is the old/new Africa that Vieux represents. Fondo is the music of an Africa that rocks, and yet still hears the camel's tread in the sand.
"Consistently excellent..." Feisty new African guitar hero, proud to display his versatility, adding an impressive modern groove to the Saharan blues...
-- The Times
It was inevitably going to be difficult for Vieux Farka Toure to step out from under the shadow of his father, the late, great Ali Farka Toure, one of the most acclaimed African musicians of all time. However, in spite of this, Vieux has, with Fondo, produced perhaps his finest work to date. Reminiscent of his father’s style with characteristic sharp licks and phrasing, the young Vieux has developed whilst staying true to his heritage.
-- BBC Review
Dedicated to his father (Ali Farka Toure).
All songs written by Vieux Farka Toure except "Wale" (traditional)
Afel Bocoum (vocals on Mali)
Toumani Diabate (kora on Paradise)
01- Fafa Doboy
02- Ai Haira
03- Souba Souba
06- Slow Jam
08- Diaraby Magni
09- Cherie Le
11- Fafa Doboy (Reprise)