Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Tabu Ley Rochereau: Babeti Soukous [RealWorld, 1989]
More showbiz if not Vegas than his great rival/collaborator Franco, soukous's surviving coinventor is a cornball so seigneurial that I've walked out on him twice, and at first I found this hectically eclectic live-in-the-studio best-of hard to listen to. But when I gave it a chance its constituent parts snuck up on me--the procession of dance beats and guitar styles, the female vocal cameos, even the Smokey-styled/stolen ballad. Take it as the Zairean equivalent of Sunny Adé's Juju Music--an unguided tour through a long, deep pop tradition. B+