Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Arto Lindsay: Mundo Civilizado [Bar/None, 1997]
Even when he was an enraged and alienated No Wave mutant there was wit and rhythm in his tantrums, and it was only a few years after he unveiled DNA and undermined the Lounge Lizards that this shy, suave, calculating lover boy bowed as a crooner. But even so it's wonderful and normal that he's grown up this far. Laying drum 'n' bass on deep Bahia, boldly and reverentially covering the two premier African-American singers of our era, hocking Brazilian tunes from Caetano Veloso on down, he calmly and erotically bridges English and Portugese, art tourism and manor-born tropicalia, self-conscious sweetness and unkempt literacy. This be lounge-torch jungle-samba: a fragile, lyrical, sly, beatwise, embarrassingly beautiful cross-cultural appropriation that just goes to show how people grow up and settle down even when they don't. A+