Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Golden Afrique Vol. 1 [Network, 2005]
N'Dour-Keita-Baobab warhorses are few on a Deutschmark-pegged double that homes in on late-'70s Senegal and environs. Where The Music in My Head explodes with independence, this comp honors capitalist-socialist hopes. Tribal identities melt and meld in cities where immigrants are hungry for more than drums drums drums. Beyond mbalax and Afrosalsa a-borning, there's continent-sweeping soukous, local ziglibithy, Les Amazones de Guinée, a pop smash whose singer went out to seek a fortune that boiled down to a few Tabou Combo cameos, a Conakry-based Miriam Makeba singing a stately pan-African praisesong in Paris. One hopes there's still this much action in some distressed African metropolis as yet undocumented. But one also hopes Afropop aficionados stuck in the past will keep showing us what we missed. A