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Blue Eyed Black Boy by Balkan Beat Box
Released: Apr 2010
Label: Nat Geo Music
Their last album was raucous but half-finished, perhaps more style than substance. BBB get back in the saddle on Blue Eyed Black Boy. When they're on -- and they are here, starting around "Balkumbia" -- the band is ferocious, laying bare the hip in the square. Balkan folk in its purest form is completely radical, and "Smatron" and "Lijepa Mare" prove it. So picking up chicha, aka psychedelic Andean cumbia, feels sensible, a foregone conclusion; same with Moroccan gnawa on "Buhala." The band's magic springs to life when they're taking up folk and showing its freakiest truths.
Sarah Bardeen

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