Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Rave-Ups

  • Town and Country [Fun Stuff, 1985] A-
  • The Book of Your Regrets [Epic, 1988] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Town and Country [Fun Stuff, 1985]
Near as I can tell, the main thing country-rock does for Jimmy Podrasky is let him sing his songs in a drawl. The drawl doesn't pass--when it comes to Appalachia, Podrasky's native Pittsburgh is close but no corncob pipe. The songs, however, are pretty hip, a credit to Podrasky's lit-major fondness for Dylan and Twain. This being country-rock, they generally take a chugging freight-train rhythm. And Podrasky being a closet popster, they generally have hooks. A-

The Book of Your Regrets [Epic, 1988]
As a somewhat skeptical admirer of Jim Podrasky's country-rock popcraft--how much can so static a commodity be worth in these careening times?--I was irritated at first by the big drum sound, tacked on to this pop product as it is to all others in these conformist times. Only when startled from a revery induced by a competing commodity did I realize that cowriter Terry Wilson's indubitable guitar-banjo-lapsteel-keybs-etc. demanded the percussive kinetics. The boy can't be stopped, his virtuosity serving a song-form rock and roll that's implosive rather than onrocking, pyrotechnic rather than jet-propelled. Even when Podrasky's romantic headaches and American tragedies aren't at a peak of observation, you listen. When they are, you learn. B+