Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Rough Guide to Undiscovered World [World Music Network, 2012]
Dumb title. If they're afraid to call it "world music fusion" because that sounds too cheesy, how about "polydiscovered" or "cross-discovered"? Gambian-Scottish reels, Cypriot-Chilean rebetika, Polish orientalism, like that. At its worst, which is pretty bad, New Age mawk wafts incenselike from its gentle shows of musical privilege. But pull the plug on the unspeakably polite English Arabists at track six and program past the peace-addled Africana at tracks nine-ten-eleven and you have a lively panoply of sounds you've never heard before. Most of them couldn't maintain your interest for more than a track, although I hope eventually to double-check that assumption with the gamelan funk of Sarutusperson. Instead they're held together by their hopeful, thoughtful, universalist curiosity. B+