Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Artful Dodger

  • Artful Dodger [Columbia, 1976] B
  • Honor Among Thieves [Columbia, 1976] B+
  • Babes on Broadway [Columbia, 1977] C+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Artful Dodger [Columbia, 1976]
Having barely conquered my addiction to "Think Think," the supra-Beatles raver that opens side two, and having learned that "Think Think" stiffed as a single, I find myself clearheaded enough to report that if "Think Think" didn't make it this band will have to wait till next year, and to point out that next years sometimes come for bands this tight, melodic, and intense. B

Honor Among Thieves [Columbia, 1976]
These kids deserve to turn into teen heroes everybody can be proud of. They respect the rock and roll verities, but in a dynamic rather than an arty or nostalgic way: their instrumental wallop is powerful enough to keep them in there with the heavies, but so deft that the lyricism of their songs is left untouched. A lot of bands around CBGB will spend their lives wishing they could have gotten it together like this. B+

Babes on Broadway [Columbia, 1977]
OK, two nice if slightly deliberate albums of power pop go virtually unnoticed, so you up the power, especially since you're running out of the cute tunes 'n' tricks that provide the pop. But then it isn't power pop any more--sounds almost like Angel, or Queen. Sounds pretty desperate, too. C+