Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Oumou Sangare: Worotan [World Circuit, 1997]
Traditional? Folkloric? Malian? "World"? Fusion? Pop? Ignoring such petty distinctions, this sexy sister and radical queen is all these things and none. Its interlock Malian, its forward motion as imbued with possibility as the message it carries, her music has never been more confident or distinct. She's proud to be a griot, an earth mother, a modern woman, a star--an effective progressive in music as well as politics, up to and including some Pee Wee Ellis horn charts to freshen her funk. She exploits possibilities she finds in Europe and America, and she gives new possibilities back. A-