It means “My Country”—Mon Pays, that is—to the native Malian, Vieux Farka Toure. According to the guitar virtuoso, the album is a tribute to his home, produced during a period of ethnic and religious strife that has brought unrest to the landlocked West African nation. The hope and zeal behind these songs is tangible.Mon Pays is a beautiful collective piece. I’m far from familiar with the artist or his prior work, but there is an underlying prowess to each individual melodic movement that rarely subsides throughout the progression, and I found myself suitably impressed with the ardor behind the endeavor.This is a traditional African record in many ways, yet Mon Pays exudes an oft-untapped lifeblood sanguinity in comparison to similar regional ventures—pleasant, flawless music for a lazy Saturday on a sun-kissed deck.If I had to provide a close cousin to Mon Pays from my own personal sphere of reference, the most pertinent I can think of would have to be For Octavio Paz, another largely acoustic offering from Six Organs of Admittance and one I truly favored in its own right. Yes, I must be reaching. All I can promise is that the sorts of folks who would indulge in Vieux Farka Toure’s music will certainly enjoy the album.