Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Cheb Mami

  • Prince of Rai [Shanachie, 1989] B
  • Dellali [Mondo Melodia, 2001] Dud

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Prince of Rai [Shanachie, 1989]
'Tis said this tux-clad pretender has a sweeter voice than the goat-king Khaled, but is a green olive sweeter than a lamb chop? He's just higher, more adenoidal, more adolescent. Recorded recently enough to get the groove-bending bass and violin right, this is less monotonous than the competition. Standout cut features a synthesizer echoing the melody line in tribute to "the style `L'Oranais,' a form that predates `Rai.'" Nothing like a touch of tradition to add pop novelty to the world-beat norm. B

Dellali [Mondo Melodia, 2001] Dud