Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • World Beat [Epic, 1989] C+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

World Beat [Epic, 1989]
I find it impossible to work up the fine pitch of loathing this piece of product arouses among the right-thinking. It's only a) hit-plus-filler and b) Europop, lame two ways by definition, which is no reason to listen to it but also no reason to be dismayed by its lameness; the lameness of the Brazilian dance-pop it rips off is more dismaying, because it's more misguided. In a time when Third World musicians dream of First World rich-and-famous, when Parisian sensibility deracinates the rhythms of the African diaspora one day and adds muscle to them the next, when France seeks to regain world cultural preeminence by embracing an essentially spurious multiracialism, lambada fits an inevitable market niche. It's Europop with a café au lait face and a bouncy bottom, and on the hit and the two cuts that follow it has the vulgar vitality of all great pop commerce. After that it's filler. C+