Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Chaba Fadela

  • You Are Mine [Mango, 1989] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

You Are Mine [Mango, 1989]
I was on this from the day I played the import because, like Rai Rebels, it kicks off with her 1985 comeback with her husband Cheb Sahraoui--"N'Sel Fik," rai's most incandescent and universal moment, one of the greatest singles of the decade. But it took me months to sort it out clearly in my uneducated recollection from Middle Eastern product as distinct as Ouardia's Berber songpoems, or Ofra Haza's Barbra Streisand gone ethnic and song-contest-with-hip-beats. Now I hear shades of emotion I don't ordinarily get from foreign-language pop--something as elementary as the way "Ateni Bniti" ("Give Me Back My Daughter") moves from affliction to angry resolve, say. I also notice Oran superproducer Rachid outdoing rather than compromising himself as he aims for the bigger time. And reflect that if now it's for bad boys, rai was originally the domain of women who knew better. Fadela sounds like a sister. A-