Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
Books:
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
Writings:
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
    RSS
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Consumer Guide by Review Date: 2011-07-01

2011-07-01

Ofori Amponsah: Odwo (Supermusic, 2007) In Twi and in English, highlife new jack Amponsah has one of those tenors you assume is a falsetto until he feels obliged to spend quality time up even higher, as on the self-pitying "Nothing but Love" or the pitying "Homeless," the sentimentality of which would be easier to resist were it more contained and also if there weren't so many homeless African children. More often he's a cheerleader, as on "Highlife Dancing," with its good Ghanaian sunshine, and "Babicue," where champagne will be served. So sweet he has no need for Auto-Tune, he butters it on anyway, and as with the sentimentality the music just gets more beautiful as a result. He tries so hard you'd be a cad to tell him no. A-

Nigeria 70: Sweet Times: Afro-Funk, Highlife & Juju From 1970s Lagos (Strut, 2011) As with 2008's Lagos Jump, the boon is that the "funk" is so tentative--mostly a few chicken-scratch guitars that barely qualify. The bass lines lope and what trap drumming there is owes nothing audible to Jabo Starks or Ziggy Modeliste. Strut says none of these recordings has ever been released outside Nigeria, and indeed, when I pulled down my vinyl on Dele Abiodun's 15-minute keeper "It's Time for Juju Music" I learned that it had indeed been manufactured in the mother country. Such little-heard luminaries as Victor Olaiya and Ebenezer Obey stake their claims, and I enjoyed Ali Chukwumah's un-chicken scratch "Henrietta" so instantaneously I assumed I'd already heard it somewhere--which it would appear that I had not. A-

Select Review Dates

Get unique date list.

Enter begin date as YYYY-MM-DD:
Enter end date as YYYY-MM-DD: