Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

La Cherga: Fake No More [Asphalt Tango, 2008]
Two Kosovan masterminds, two Macedonian horn players, and two Serbians manning guitar and bass pursue pan-Balkan dub in Austrian exile. The music isn't as hot or goulash-like as stay-at-homes will hear from cosmopolitans who slum around looking for "interesting, romantic people," to quote chief mastermind Irina Karamarkovic. It's sprightly, light, controlled, although danceable if you know the steps and probably if you don't. Karamarkovic's small, supple voice and Anglophone lyrics infuse the lightness with brains and laughter, which for me equals sex appeal. Keep all your smoky EU chanteuses and their safe-word s&m. I'll take this sometime voice teacher tempting a fate she defies by name, warning of bandits who rob the brain-dead, chiding slivovich-sipping tourists in one verse and cheerfully encouraging them to come on come on the next. A-