Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Zimbabwe Frontline [Earthworks, 1988]
Hot Thomas Mapfumo, hooked Four Brothers. Fervent call for unity in a non-Zimbabwean tongue, husky cry of independence from a natural feminist. Mbaqanga rumba with West Nkosi in the control booth. Tart pop sweetmeats from Devera Ngwena, who outsell the Bhundus in Harare. A generic or two. Except maybe for Mapfumo's Ndangariro, which gets over on groove rather than songs, mbira guitar's most convincing showcase. A-