Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Rupert Holmes

  • Rupert Holmes [Epic, 1975] B-
  • Pursuit of Happiness [Private Stock, 1978] C

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Rupert Holmes [Epic, 1975]
In another time this guy would be writing short stories for Collier's; if he really is a civilized Randy Newman, as some seem to feel, then the emphasis is on the civilized. The giveaway is the voice, devoid of feeling or even eccentricity, and hence inoffensive. Randy Newman is never inoffensive. That so many putative rock critics mistake Holmes's deftness for the real thing only proves how desperate we have become for original intelligence, no matter how shallow. B-

Pursuit of Happiness [Private Stock, 1978]
As a much-covered pop singer-songwriter who narrated well-crafted musical soap operas, Holmes earned neither popular not critical status. So now he's pursued fame by moving to an avowed singles label, jettisoning the narrative and steering between Jimmy Webb literacy at his best ("Less Is More") and Paul Williams pap at his worst ("Speechless"). C