Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Randy Newman: Little Criminals [Warner Bros., 1977]
Always the master craftsman, Newman doesn't waste a second here, doesn't permit an inept lyrical insight or musical fillip. But over the past three years he doesn't seem to have written one song that ranks with his best. Among all these explorations of America's dirty white underbelly, only the out-and-out jokes--the gross intolerance of "Short People" and the Eagles music on "Rider in the Rain"--distinguish themselves. Very disappointing. B+