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*** HENRI DIKONGUE, "C'est La Vie", Tinder

March 28, 1998|DON HECKMAN

This Cameroonian singer-guitarist's latest album, which has just been released in this country, has been riding the top of the European world music chart--and with good cause. Like Lokua Kanza, Wasis Diop and his compatriot, Sally Nyolo, Dikongue is at the crest of a new movement in African music that emphasizes songs filled with easygoing melodies and poetic lyrics, which he does superbly.

Singing in French and Douala, he often verges close to the intimate quality of cabaret, while still retaining gently floating, Brazilian-tinged rhythms and irresistible melodic hooks. Look for him to become a visible presence in African pop. He'll perform some songs from the album during an in-store appearance at 6 p.m. today at the Virgin Megastore, 8000 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood.

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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