Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Consumer Guide Album

This Is Ska! [Music Club, 1997]
Ska compilations are a puzzlement--once you get the ramshackle groove, the supply of likable stuff you'd never heard expands toward infinity as the roll call of undeniable classics remains as brief as ever. Island instigated the confusion with Intensified! and More Intensified! two decades ago, and finally solved it with the first volume of the four-CD reggae overview Tougher Than Tough. But this $10, 16-track, 44-minute alternative also strikes just the right mix of funky popsters (two Desmond Dekkers, one Jimmy Cliff) and loose-limbed groovemasters (their pace set by the Skatalites' "Guns of Navarone"). Prime MIAs: the unrepresented Prince Buster's "Al Capone" and Roland Alphonso's "Solomon Gundie," the latter available on Island's semiobscurantist new Ska's the Limit, which does unearth the archetypally out-of-tune sax solo of Lord Creator's "Independent Jamaica." Then there's Music Club's This Is Ska Too!, specializing (it says) in third-wave cover faves. Skank on. A