Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Alpha Yaya Diallo

  • Aduna "The World" [Tinder, 1998] *
  • The Message [Wicklow, 1999] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Aduna "The World" [Tinder, 1998]
Guinéean doctor's son learns guitar in Malinke, botany in college, and pan-Africanism in Vancouver, British Columbia ("Yéké Yéké," "Aduna") *

The Message [Wicklow, 1999]
Canadians--presumably white Canadians, although with all the slave-owner names up there one can't be sure--in an Afro whatever band? A guarantee of New Age blandness if ever I've patted my foot, and when the Celtic fiddle comes in on one track I get the urge to slaughter a whale. Yet somehow this Guinéean guitarist-vocalist parses the link between pan-African beatsmanship and world-music eternal return, evoking now soukous, now chimurenga, now the cyclical structures if not koras of Sahel griots and hunters. Soothing, mostly--yet provocative enough to make you cry out loud when you least expect it. A-