(Wrasse)

After a sorry adventure into synth-led Euro-pop, Algeria's rebel rocker relocates his mojo for this ninth solo album of his 30-year career. In part it's a nod to his roots; there's a tribute to Egyptian diva Umm Kulthum (with vocal samples) and a homage to Elvis Presley with Now Or Never. The playful mood owes plenty to producer Justin Adams, who tempers Taha's heavy rock leanings with shimmering surf guitars (Ana) and bluesy breaks (Les artistes). Algerian Tango has a great deadpan turn from the Clash's Mick Jones, while a reprise of Taha's anti-racist Voilà Voilà boasts Agnès B and Eric Cantona. Zut alors!

Rating: 4/5


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