Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Henri Dikongué

  • C'est la Vie [Tinder, 1998] A-
  • Wa [Shanachie, 1999] Dud

Consumer Guide Reviews:

C'est la Vie [Tinder, 1998]
A Camerounian who left law school in Paris for a pan-African theater troupe in the self-same city, this thoughtful songwriter and fluent guitarist is a hit in the genteel mold of Lokua Kanza and Geoffrey Oryema. He's what happens when Afropop becomes world music--when it targets broad-minded European connoisseurs rather than rhythm-schooled African sophisticates. In short, he's a folkie. But he's more rhythm-minded than most, rival Africans included, melding piano here and clave there into arrangements whose weave launches his plaintive tunes the way genteel beauty should. And when he sings declaratively, you believe he's saying something. A-

Wa [Shanachie, 1999] Dud