Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
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:
  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 Album

Etoile de Dakar: Volume 1: Absa Gueye [Sterns, 1993]
Supposedly, Youssou N'Dour has gone onto better things than these first recordings, cut in 1979 with the seminal band he formed two years earlier at age 18. And without doubt his music has grown more ambitious and more accomplished. But there's nothing youthfully naive or folkishly charming about mbalax at this stage of evolution. Counterbalancing clavé-inflected sway with hectic tama-drum interjections, making ample room for guitar and horns, it never shrinks from its own complexities or sinks under their weight. With five band members writing, many of the 10 tracks grab you at every turn. And unlike N'Dour's always admirable and usually enjoyable internationalist fusions, they never overreach. A