Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Paul Carrack: Suburban Voodoo [Epic, 1982]
These songs are catchy and apt ("Don't want no washed-up dishes soft-soaping me," eh?), and unlike his pop mentors in Squeeze (he was on board for East Side Story) and Noise to Go (bandmate Nick Lowe produced and helped compose), Carrack seems to Mean It--he's soulful in the manner of somebody like Allan Clarke (of the Hollies, how could you forget?). In fact, I bet his sincerity is the envy of his compulsively ironic co-workers. Unfortunately, it leaves me wondering whether he's a little simple-minded or a minor con man. B