Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Cape Verde [Putumayo World Music, 1999]
Trust the escape merchants at the world's softest world label to put a happy face on saudade--the tempos a little quicker, the melodies a little brighter. Still, it's not like these musicians are trying to get the party started, increase efficiency in the workplace, or reduce sales resistance to clothing bought cheap and sold dear--not that they know of, anyway. They're just confronting the sense of loneliness and loss built into "the romance of these remote and exotic islands." And maybe because they're beginning to feel it's too easy to hold their cultural heritage at bay by correctly pronouncing one of its many names, they're beating it, honestly if temporarily. Good for them. A-