Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:
In this time when we're not actually waging war on Islam, Americans who want to know who their friends are should check out an astute collection of North African pop prepared well before September 11 by master compiler Trevor Herman. Tea in Marrakech (Earthworks) begins with the Arabic peace greeting Salam over a setting you could macarena to, and tours 15 of the region's bestsellers from the turbulent '90s. Like most hits, these songs place a premium on the catchy, albeit in modes with a distinct desert tinge. They're also funky, reproducing beats from all over the pop world on indigenous drums and fretboards and adapting local rhythms to electric instruments. Above all, they're jubilantly secular and passionately impure--exemplary melting-pot music, committed to Western notions of pop. Enjoy them, and learn from them, before it's too late.

Fifteen years ago, the funky D.C. dance style called go-go was a duly certified Next Big Thing. Didn't happen. Which didn't stop it--locally, the hits just kept on coming. The Beat: Go-Go's Fusion of Funk and Hip Hop (Liaison) is two CD's of swinging party rap that serves notice that these citizens who can't vote for president deserve to be heard from.

Playboy, Oct. 2001

Sept. 2001 Nov. 2001