Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Alpha Blondy and the Wailers

  • Jerusalem [Shanachie, 1988] B+

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Jerusalem [Shanachie, 1988]
There's something suspect about this ex-Manhattanite turned parttime Parisian and his multilingual Islamic reggae from Abidjan--he's a third-world marketer's dream even if he's marketing himself. But at worst he puts out a finer grade of generic Wailers than Rita's ever going to front, and three cuts sound like acts of genius rather than strokes of luck: the otherwise Francophone "Kalachnikov Love," whatever that means (and I want to know); "Jerusalem," slipping with a sly presumption of innocence from basic English to pidgin Hebrew, pidgin Arabic, and pidgin French; and "Travailler C'Est Trop Dur," which breaks his loping skank into a pretty gallop. After all, there's something suspect about Prince, too. B+