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Will anyone enlighten me on why Robert Christgau...


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  • Will anyone enlighten me on why Robert Christgau...

    ... Is mentioned in almost every review of classic Rock albums?  Am I the only one who finds his critiques to have been completely misguided, unprophetic, irrelevant to what future artists actually were influenced by, and pompous?

  • #2
    I'd love to hear an answer to this too, I've never quite "gotten" him either.
    Poppin' Fresh

    "I can rock the mic to silence by John Cage,
    With the arty flavor, I shoot the gift like a party favor..."


    • #3
      A few cases in point:

      "Heroes" [RCA Victor, 1977]
      When I first heard the Enofied instrumental textures on side two, as background music, they struck me as more complex than their counterparts on Low, and they are. Low now seems quite pop, slick and to the point even when the point is background noise; in fact, after I completed my comparison, I began to play it a lot. But what was interesting background on "Heroes" proved merely noteworthy as foreground, admirably rather than attractively ragged. Maybe after the next album I'll get the drift of this one. B+

      Regatta de Blanc [A&M, 1979]
      The idea is to fuse Sting's ringing rock voice and the trio's aggressive, hard-edged rock attack with a less eccentric version of reggae's groove and a saner version of reggae's mix. To me the result sounds half-assed. And though I suppose I might find the "synthesis" innovative if I heard as much reggae as they do in England, it's more likely I'd find it infuriating. B-

      Power, Corruption and Lies [Factus, 1983]
      The second or third Joy Division II album has occasioned disputation among the faithful. Some claim that it cynically recycles their riffs, while others think it raises that old new music to transcendent summits. Me, I find it relatively gentle and melodic in its ambient postindustrial polyrhythms, their nicest record ever. I also think it sounds pretty much like the others. B+

      The Unforgettable Fire [Island, 1984]
      Eno has shaped this record to accentuate Bono's wild romantic idealism, and while I prefer his moral force I have to admit that the two are equally beguiling to contemplate and dangerous to take literally. The romanticism gets out of hand with the precious expressionism of "Elvis Presley and America" (enough to make the King doubt this boy's virility), the moralism with the turn-somebody-else's-cheek glorification of Martin Luther King's martyrdom (death stings plenty where I live). But he gets away with it often enough to make a skeptic believe temporarily in miracles. B+

      Blue Bell Knoll [Capitol, 1988]
      Harold Budd records in their studio. The Bulgarian State Radio and Television Female Vocal Choir records on their label. I understand that they're more foolish than either (not naive, not after six years), and that they've been known to milk momentary momentum out of electric guitars, but the affinities are there--these faeries are in the aura business. So what are they doing on the alternative rock charts? Ever hear the one about being so open-minded that when you lay down to sleep your brains fall out? C+


      • Lou Speed's Alt
        Lou Speed's Alt commented
        Editing a comment
        I killed Christgau with my big ****************ing dick.