Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Jive Soweto--The Indestructible Beat of Soweto Volume Four [Earthworks, 1993]
By now the availability of South African pop far exceeds the needs of the curious, and there's no way any of Trevor Herman's four follow-ups to Indestructible Beat is as essential as Ladysmith's Classic Tracks or Mzwakhe's Resistance Is Defence or Mahlathini's Paris-Soweto or Shanachie's Heartbeat of Soweto. But for the converted, each has its distinct rewards. Featuring the slick arrangements and syncretic harmonies of the Soul Brothers on six tracks, this one abandons basso groaners for the high-end registers of hectoring chatterbox Ihashi Elimhlophe, theatrical interloper Mbongeni Ngema, and pop idol Steve Kekana. It makes itself useful on sonic differentiation alone. A-