Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

  • Mustt Mustt [RealWorld, 1990] *
  • The Last Prophet [RealWorld, 1994] Dud
  • Rapture: An Essential Selection [Music Club, 1997] A-
  • Greatest Hits [Shanachie, 1997] A-

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Mustt Mustt [RealWorld, 1990]
sometimes--"Tracery" feh, "Sea of Vapours" pee-yoo--the master modernizer of Sufi song, well, transcends the New Age art-rock Michael Brook vouchsafes him ("The Game," "Taa Deem") *

The Last Prophet [RealWorld, 1994] Dud

Rapture: An Essential Selection [Music Club, 1997]
Although 100 albums in 10 years may be an exaggeration, I doubt even Urdu speakers need the entire Allah-channeling oeuvre. On the other hand, I'm so sure non-Urdu speakers don't need RealWorld's polite introductions that I do hope to try one of his Pakistani cassettes someday. Meanwhile, there's this compilation, cherry-picked from his U.K. catalogue by a supersharp Brit discount label, which means that like those cassettes it's cheap. But that's not why I don't mind the rock drums and guitar on one track. It's because this cherry-picker knew where the juicy ones were. A-

Greatest Hits [Shanachie, 1997]
I can see only one upside in the dreadful rumor that Khan has blown his voice, seriously if not permanently--it will inspire entrepreneurs with a conduit to the American audience RealWorld developed and misserved to license Khan's Pakistani plethora. Whatever "hit" can mean in qawwali, the world-music veterans at Shanachie tell us these four extended tracks were selected with care, not grabbed at random. Their pure power somewhat less intense and fanciful than on Intoxicated Spirit, they're a special boon for late converts who never got the point of his crossovers anyway. A-