Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Cymande

  • Cymande [Janus, 1972] B+
  • Second Time Around [Janus, 1973] B

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Cymande [Janus, 1972]
What they call Nyah-rock is African with Jamaican influences--not straight reggae so much as Rastafarian by which I mean that a lot of the songs seem designed to give off a tribal aura. The groove is slow but very seductive, and while the improvisations aren't exciting as such, they're very satisfying rhythmically. The borrowed folk chants are exciting as such. B+

Second Time Around [Janus, 1973]
When you hum this music you hum Steve Scipio's bass lines--not the vocals, and not the guitar parts of Scipio's cocomposer Patrick Patterson. Which says something for the abiding flexibility that always makes it comfortable to listen to. But also helps explain why it's rarely anything more. B

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