Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Phoebe Snow: Second Childhood [Columbia, 1976]
Although the rumors of a major new artist that began after the success of "Poetry Man"--still her sappiest song, although the lyrics here aren't what they call creative writing--originated with fuzzy-minded mongers, I'm pleased to report that her trademark melismatic quaver hasn't degenerated into a gimmick, and I acknowledge that this is a good record of its type. I just have my doubts about how good a jazz-folk mood-music record can be. Money isn't all that's "worthless/When your music's mirthless"--sometimes the music is as well. B