Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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John Entwistle

  • Smash Your Head Against the Wall [Decca, 1971] B
  • Whistle Rymes [Decca, 1972] B
  • John Entwistle's Rigor Mortis Sets In [Track, 1973] C+

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Smash Your Head Against the Wall [Decca, 1971]
Entwistle is an important source of the fucked-up Calvinism that has always added that peculiar note of constraint to the Who--just remember where Peter Townshend turned when he needed a song about Uncle Ernie. These paeans of resentment and frustration climax thematically in songs called "Heaven and Hell" and "You're Mine" (starring John as Satan). But the music--not the melodies, the singing and playing--adds some not-so-peculiar constraints of its own. B

Whistle Rymes [Decca, 1972]
Subjects of songs: isolation, cuckold's desertion, cuckold's rancor, cuckold's failed suicide, neurotic passivity, idiot passivity, whoring in bad faith, peeping in good faith, getting played for a fool, and nightmares. Mood of music: tuneful but stolid hard rock. Disposition of career: "interesting." B

John Entwistle's Rigor Mortis Sets In [Track, 1973]
Even in fun, Rigor Mortis is a strange name for what's supposed to be a lively rock and roll band. It may suggest why Entwistle's calling as a singer-songwriter is to provide one change-of-pace on each Who album. C+