Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • Super Soukous [Shanachie, 1989] A-

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Super Soukous [Shanachie, 1989]
Melding what's finest about the original into a conceptual variant--like Sweetheart of the Rodeo turned Gilded Palace of Sin, say, or the Time turned Jam & Lewis--this solo debut (later albums are available under the band name Loketo) is the best kind of spinoff. Though it's fronted by soft-sung Aurlus Mabele, Kanda Bongo's man Diblo Dibala dominates--rolling out sweetly, sheerly, endlessly, piling signature riff on signature riff, his guitar lines and interludes lift and lyricize the boss's stripped-down Afrodisco. Thematically, he's traditional Afropop. Spiritually, he has more going for him. A-