WARNING: This post contains yet more Popular Culture, (and other people’s Popular Culture at that). Normal, boring, service will be resumed as soon as possible.
There are still many other splendid genres of music to look at - from Turkey, former Yugoslavia and most certainly from The Gypsy Side of Town - before we reach the musical apotheosis that is proper Manele. We’ll have to wait a bit longer before we can gaze upon the fine young men with their gelled hair and expansive grins, their short-skirted girlfriends and their regulation all-white Mercedeses. But first here is a small glimpse of what’s to come: Babi Minune, a name which means “Amazing Baby”. He may still be just a lickle baby but he’s already got the voice, and the attitude – I'm not sure I'd want to be one of his teachers... I wouldn’t even want to be the woman who comes in once a week to teach them raffia work... and if I was his headmaster I suspect a strong letter to the parents might be in order. But whoever’s handling him has at least some appreciation, sometimes, as here, of the traditional instruments of Romanian gypsy music, instead of just employing the usual cheapo synthesiser. Students of Latin, a language dangerously close to Romanian (...and we don’t want any Oxbridge classicists coming over here and taking our jobs and sweet-talking our women, so naff off), will be able to decipher that he’s singing about The World Economic Crisis, which I think is laudable of him. In the second verse he clearly mentions Lehman Brothers and the risks inherent in sub-prime loaning, and in the third verse he has some really quite caustic things to say about Milton Friedman.