The Journey

Maryam Mursal

1998: Real World CAR 2370-2

  1. Lei LeiI Feel Alone
  2. KufilawTake Care
  3. Somali Udiida CebSomalia, Don’t Shame Yourself
  4. SodewouWelcome
  5. HamarThe Big City
  6. QaxRefugee
  7. Nin HunBad Man
  8. FejignoBeware

This album is such an exemplar of how rich a product can be brought forth when a culture without a history of slick music production crosses paths with one that does. Not that Somali music production is necessarily bad, but it does strike me as having a certain lack of sonic depth and musical story arcs.

For me the album’s standout tracks are “Kufilaw” and “Hamar,” the former having a strong, striding groove and the latter being an epic journey, largely instrumental and often intensely arresting.

Also, I love the extended photo of Mursal which unfolds in the CD booklet—all the more striking thanks to its excellent cropping and presentation.