Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  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
Xgau Sez
  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:

Carlene Carter

  • Carlene Carter [Warner Bros., 1978] C+
  • Musical Shapes [Warner Bros., 1980] B

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Carlene Carter [Warner Bros., 1978]
This woman has a strong voice, an assertive persona, and good taste in bands (the Rumour) and grandmothers (Maybelle C.). She's twice-divorced with two kids at twenty-two, so she Knows Life, and her songwriting definitely Shows Potential. But reach ain't grasp, strength ain't passion or style, and she could use a haircut. C+

Musical Shapes [Warner Bros., 1980]
Touted as the next Marshall Chapman since she surfaced in 1978, Mother Maybelle's most famous granddaughter and Nick Lowe's most famous wife comes up with enough nasty, compassionate songs to make believers out of Marshall's followers, all seven hundred of 'em. Dave Edmunds cameos as a chow-sucking trucker, Nick has the synth to light up "Ring of Fire," and Carlene has the balls for "They got the balls and I got the bat." But she can't muster the insouciance one would expect from the Mary Magdalene of Cool. B