Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Rachid Taha's Made in Medina (Mondo Melodia) arrives simultaneously with Cheb Mami's Dellali, but don't let that bias you. Even if Mami's 1999 duet with Sting, Desert Rose, spurred the rai minirevival that got Taha his U.S. deal, Taha commands a tough intensity the lover boys never approach. Long a star on the European dance circuit, the Algerian exile rocks here, raging against the machine with a conviction that demolishes the language barrier. Staind should only be so righteous.

Best new '60s revival: the Pernice Brothers' The World Won't End (Ashmont). Remember the Zombies--Time of the Season, She's Not There? Like that, only cutting Colin Blunstone's soft-burred yearning with something like despair over her failure to be there.

Playboy, Aug. 2001

July 2001 Sept. 2001