Listening to vocal music in languages you don’t speak means you lose the narrative, but it can draw your focus to the purely musical aspects of a piece. We enjoy the hypnotic minor-key drones and plaintive singing of The River, but if you download the album you miss out on some deeper meanings. Fortunately, Ali Farka Toure kindly provided us with stories, culture, and context in his liner notes.
We snagged these scans of The River before selling it on Amazon. Yes, you can click and zoom to read the small print.