Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Gogol Bordello: Super Taranta! [Side One Dummy, 2007]
Because I so adored 2005's Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike (making it hard to accept a follow-up), feared overselling an act seen as exotic (accordions and violins are wilder than keybs) and loved the opener so much it dwarfed the rest ("There were never any good old days"--exactly), I hedged my emotions here. But six months after I got the advance, I love it all. Dubbing in a nonreggae reggae tribute, laughing about immigration's generation gap, turning "frustration into inspiration" and disillusion into resolve, the four somewhat less tuneful songs in the middle sum up Eugene Hutz's politics of joy. He leads the world's most visionary band. And once you learn to hear its multicontinental get-down, rooted in the Balkans' Islamo-Christian stomp, it's also one of the hardest rocking. A+