Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Jaojoby: Malagasy [World Village, 2004]
The definitive salegy singer hadn't shown his bar code over here since 1992's emphatically entitled Salegy! Now suddenly he's got two albums out, and on this newer and less Madagascar-specific one the emphasis doesn't require punctuation marks. The first three tracks work up a drive absent from Salegy! before settling into a supple complexity that isn't above putting its point across by reprising old tunes you and I don't remember. Salegy! sounded singer-with-backup. This is a band record--a rocking band record, with two guitars and guest horns and accordion-harmonium keyb and four backup females. Within Indian Ocean parameters, it's the most upful new Afropop I've heard in years. A-