Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Rose [Atlantic, 1979]
The usual soundtrack alibis don't apply to a Paul Rothchild production utilizing studio certified musicians and a dozen tunesmiths hacking out rock songs to order. In fact, all that distinguishes this collection of nine Bette Midler performances from, say, your usual backup-goes-solo bid is that it was recorded live--for "feel," I guess. Although it is true that except for the off-color "Love Me With a Feeling" the high points are the monologue on side one and a prolonged fanfare. C