Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Tabu Ley Rochereau: Tabu Ley [Shanachie, 1984]
Comprising six recent full-length dance tracks by the bandleader whose clarion baritone has made him the biggest singer in Zaire for twenty-five years, this is a well-designed compilation documenting Africa's dominant pop style. Most of the cuts have real tunes, with French lyrics accessible to a wide range of high school graduates, and two feature his female protegee M'bilia Bel. But Rochereau is a showbiz pro because he always goes for what he knows works, and outsiders may well find his up-up-up propulsion steady-state if not a little wearing. B+