Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Adventures in Afropea 3: Telling Stories to the Sea [Luaka Bop/Warner Bros., 1995]
Like Nonesuch's lavishly praised and quite possibly worthy Césaria Évora project, David Byrne's compilations have been lyric-heavy in a world where only saints and singers enjoy interpretive nuance in a foreign tongue. Here the slow ones, including Évora's classic morna "Sodade," are so choice they get across before they're swept away by a panoply of Caribbean-tinged Afro-Lusophone dance styles at their most hookily universal. I know it's crass of me, but I find that dirty little catch in Jacinta Sanchos's throat more alluring than all of Césaria's incomprehensibly earthy wisdom. A-