Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • Salegy! Hot Dance Music from Madagascar [Xenophile, 1996] **
  • Aza Arianao [Indigo, 2004] ***
  • Malagasy [World Village, 2004] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Salegy! Hot Dance Music from Madagascar [Xenophile, 1996]
6/8 dance beats from Madagascar, by guys with their own drum set ("Samy Mandeha Samy Mitady," "Mampanino Anao") **

Aza Arianao [Indigo, 2004]
His 2000 incarnation, gentler and more choral ("Somaiko Somainao," "Alima"). ***

Malagasy [World Village, 2004]
The definitive salegy singer hadn't shown his bar code over here since 1992's emphatically entitled Salegy! Now suddenly he's got two albums out, and on this newer and less Madagascar-specific one the emphasis doesn't require punctuation marks. The first three tracks work up a drive absent from Salegy! before settling into a supple complexity that isn't above putting its point across by reprising old tunes you and I don't remember. Salegy! sounded singer-with-backup. This is a band record--a rocking band record, with two guitars and guest horns and accordion-harmonium keyb and four backup females. Within Indian Ocean parameters, it's the most upful new Afropop I've heard in years. A-