Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Consumer Guide Album

South African Rhythm Riot: The Indestructible Beat of Soweto Vol. 6 [Sterns/Earthworks, 1999]
Trevor Herman knows better than any one that compilations suffer when they sneak in artists the compiler has a weakness for, but here he gets a little sentimental anyway. Kwaito is the biggest musical fad of postapartheid South Africa, and the smashes he wanted to include--notably Arthur's "Oyi Oyi," one of those dance hits that sweep all parochialism before them--make the choicest township jive seem more received than it used to. Put it all together and you get patchwork rather than seamlessness: pop stars like Chicco and Brenda Fassie cambering the old rhythms, the socalike single-mindedness of Aba Shante's Arthur-produced "Girls," even a visit from the tireless Papa Wemba. Fairly terrific track by track--I've tried hard enough with Fassie to admire how skillfully Herman flatters her, and I'd rather hear "Oyi Oyi" here than on the megahit album of the same name. But a sampler nevertheless. A-