Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Moby Grape: 20 Granite Creek [Reprise, 1971]
At first I thought this reunion album lacked magic, but these guys sound remarkably whole for a band that failed to take over the world in 1967. You can hear the country undertone now, but you can also hear why you missed it--at their most lyrical these guys never lay back, and lyricism is something they're usually rocking too hard to bother with, though their compact forms guarantee poetic justice. Full of hope as they foresee their doom, stoned and drunk and on the move and yet always together, and above all intense, they should have at least taken over the country. All they really lacked was a boss, and what could be more American than that? B+