Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Less Than Zero [Def Jam, 1987]
Despite the execrable title song and Poison's attempted "Rock and Roll All Nite," this is one tough and imaginative soundtrack. I love the way the Bangles schlock up "Hazy Shade of Winter" (sounds like the Grass Roots song it should have been) and Slayer revs up "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (a great tune cut down to size). Even better are a debut by the Black Flames, a def and jamming answer to the Force M.D.'s, and a Public Enemy track that finally lives up to their fierce political rep (they like Farrakhan and dis critics, but nobody said you had to agree with them). "Are You My Woman"/"Bring the Noise," the resulting twelve-inch is called. Those who never trust a soundtrack should buy one. B+