Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Dele Abiodun

  • Adawa Super Sound [Shanachie, 1985] A-
  • It's Time for Ju Ju Music [Super Adawa, 1985] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Adawa Super Sound [Shanachie, 1985]
Sunny Adé aside, this is the best-conceived juju album ever released in the U.S. One half is specialty items to engage the untrained ear--dub here, funk there, out harmonies somewhere else, all integrated unobtrusively into the basic weave. The other half is tipico medley, like on a real African juju album, which oddly enough is the first time that self-evident ploy has ever been tried out on the American public. A-

It's Time for Ju Ju Music [Super Adawa, 1985]
Juju strikes some as an odd place to have begun selling Africa to white people--subtle, discursive, hard to dance to. But in Nigeria it's just pop music. The funk and pop fusions claimed for this old-timer, who toured the U.K. way back in 1974, still sound more like shadings to me, but he's absorbed Martin Meissonnier's (not Sunny Adé's) production philosophy. In its tuneful construction and clean, hot mix, this item recalls Synchro-System, only it has a ruminative side that's very Nigeria-specific. Maybe that makes him ingenuous. Or maybe it means he knows his market. A-