Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Bombino: Nomad [Nonesuch, 2013]
Producer Dan Auerbach joins in only as the bassist on "Niamey Jam." But with an American bassist on half the tracks and a German drummer doubling Bombino's own guy half the time too, this is the hardest-rocking of the hard-traveling Tuareg guitarist's three distinct albums. It does sweeten as it proceeds, as befits the "nostalgia" two first-ever translations cite--a nostalgia anybody whose homeland is a war zone has earned. The lyrics are very simple. My favorite, in its entirety: "This era/The era of young girls/Their way of loving/Works in a different way/Prayers to you, my brothers/Better to be sensitive/For our girls/Those of this era." A-