Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Cheikh Lô

  • Né La Thiass [World Circuit, 1995] *
  • Bambay Gueej [World Circuit/Nonesuch, 2000] A-
  • Jamm [World Circuit/Nonesuch, 2012] **

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Né La Thiass [World Circuit, 1995]
neotraditionalism hits Dakar ("Ndogai," "Boul di Tagale") *

Bambay Gueej [World Circuit/Nonesuch, 2000]
Senegalese out of Burkina Faso, L plays traps, wears dreads, quotes Fela, and names as his favorite musician Orchestra Aragon flutist Richard Eges, who takes the album-opening guajira home. Better equipped to roughen a croon than sweeten a shout, he's not quite the singer his wide-flung admirers say he is. But with Pee Wee Ellis arranging hornmen who include easy-swinging permanent saxophonist Thierno Kouyate, the pan-Africanism never sounds forced on what remains a studio creation even though L's band drives every cut. A-

Jamm [World Circuit/Nonesuch, 2012]
Just too nice a guy to make his pan-Africanism panoramic ("Jamm," "Dieuf Dieuf") **