Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Sona Diabaté

  • Girls of Guinea [Shanachie, 1990] B+

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Girls of Guinea [Shanachie, 1990]
Rather than romanticizing a righteous African sister, take her for a griot who's good at her job. In a nation where preserving musical treasure has been a point of socialist pride, her adept, folky elaborations avoid the appearance of self-consciousness--the closely related guitar figures underlying these songs are graceful, welcome, inevitable. But she's a trifle too dutiful to put much passion into her righteousness. And when we call music righteous, passionate is usually what we mean. B+