Rachid Taha - Je Suis Africain
Taha died in 2018 but he left his fans this incredible album to top off a notable career that spanned more than 30-years. An Algerian with a thorough knowledge of Rai, the country's folk music, here Taha crosses musical boundaries effortlessly, whipping up a storm of Saharan psychedelia on the effects-laden "Andy Waloo," strutting down a Parisian boulevard to the slinky "Striptease" and embellishing the love song "Minouche" not only with fuzzy guitar riffs but also orchestration. "Insomnia" sounds like a cut from a spaghetti western, perhaps comparing a battle with sleeplessness to that of two Old West gunslingers facing off at high noon. Everything here is sung in French except for "Like a Dervish," Taha's first ever song performed in English. But the cut, a m�lange of pop, rock and Arabian styles, is so hypnotically catchy that it hardly matters what language the words are in. A shame that this innovative artist left us at 59-years-old, but man did he go out in style.