Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Afrobeats Hot Hits: New Urban Dance Grooves From Africa [Shanachie, 2017]
This strangely spelled, cartoonishly pitch-corrected Nigerian style is not to be confused with Fela Kuti's oh so singular Afrobeat, and don't worry, you won't. Purportedly "a high-octane mash-up of Jamaican dancehall, Soca, Hip-Hop and African rhythms," I'd call Afrobeats plural a high-electro smoosh-together of catchy clichés from all those places and more, with beats cruder than hip-hop's or Afropop's rendering it utilitarian international club fodder. For stay-at-home laggards and office drones with earphone privileges, it's new novelty music, hence fresher than old novelty music. Afrobeats flash Wizkid furnishes use value with a collab on the standout "Crazy," which goes, in my orthography: "I'm in love with my bé-bé / I'm in love with my bé-bé / I'm in love with my bé-bé yé-yé / He's been drivin me crazé." If that one doesn't do it for you, the rest won't. If it does, take a chance. B+