Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Old 97's: Wreck Your Life [Bloodshot, 1995]
Dallas boys don't come to country naturally, not Dallas boys honest enough to open: "This is the story of Victoria Lee/She started off on Percodan and ended up with me/She lived in Berkeley till the earthquake shook her loose/She lives in Texas now where nothing ever moves." So "You Belong to My Heart" and "My Sweet Blue-Eyed Darlin'" fall as flat as their titles, and "W-I-F-E" says more about their own wimmin problems than about those of the ethos they poach so pseudosatirically. But in the back of a Bel Air with a mouthful of some girl's hair, staring at the dressing room walls blaming King Reagan for their wimmin problems, they're an uncommonly pungent bunch of alt-rockers with a sound they'll beef up yet. B+