Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The African Typic Collection [Earthworks, 1989]
Annotator-cocompiler Jumbo Vanrenen's latest Afrodisco sampler showcases the Caribbean-Camerounian rhythm--designated "makassi," and don't ask me to tell you more or recognize it on the dance floor--that was the making of Sam Fan Thomas, who has his name on three of the six cuts and his fingers in two others. As the owner of one Thomas LP, I hereby certify that this one is more catchy, infectious, and all the other meaningful things Afrodisco samplers should be. It closes corny with a "Peter Gabriel inspired" (oh dear) Mandela tribute, opens fresh with an acoustic-guitar-based mesh of African dances. In between, relentless genericism does its number. A-