Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Le Général Defao

  • "Ambiance Plus" (Bana Congo Vol. 2 Dance Mix) [Roma Productions, 1999] B+
  • Anthologie Defao [FFRR, 2008] **

Consumer Guide Reviews:

"Ambiance Plus" (Bana Congo Vol. 2 Dance Mix) [Roma Productions, 1999]
Well after soukous supposedly withered away, a second-tier crowd-pleaser with a willingness to throw his big body into a dance he named puts out his 17th or 18th album, something like that. Vocally he's no Wemba or Rochereau, but Manda Chante (of Wenge Musica, how did you miss him?) caramelizes one track, and Le Jeune Makuta, Likanga Mangenza, and others I've never heard of take guest turns. Vocal colors shift as leads come and go; the chorus expands and contracts. Rhythms converge, thin out, flow horizonward. A saxophone comes in to garnish the guitars. Songs segue for easier dancing, or divide into parts the dancers better be ready for. The jollity is general, audible. A generic good time is had by all. B+

Anthologie Defao [FFRR, 2008]
Soukous in the somewhat saccharine '00s manner, its groove gentle and its pain hidden beneath synth washes and the language barrier ("Famille Kikuta," "Papa na Bénédicte"). **

See Also