Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Billy Joel: The Stranger [Columbia, 1977]
Having concealed his egotism in metaphor as a young songpoet, he achieved success when he uncloseted the spoiled brat behind those bulging eyes. But here the brat appears only once, in the nominally metaphorical guise of "the stranger." The rest of Billy has more or less grown up. He's now as likable as your once-rebellious and still-tolerant uncle who has the quirk of believing that OPEC was designed to ruin his air-conditioning business. B-