Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Johnny Nash

  • I Can See Clearly Now [Epic, 1972] B
  • My Merry-Go-Round [Epic, 1973] D+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

I Can See Clearly Now [Epic, 1972]
Based on a simple, undemanding, slightly syncopated rhythmic figure that sounds like it was lifted from "Wimoweh" and is broken only by a chorus of angels, its unremittingly cheerful tag line redeemed by the unexpected realism of "I can see all obstacles in my way," the title song is the first true reggae ever to go top ten in the U.S. It's also the kind of single that can get you through a traffic jam. The album melds Caribbean soul--composer Bob Marley's is the best--with Nash's diffident, church-derived televisable vocal conception. It might get you through a day in the country if all the other available music were by Chuck Mangione. B

My Merry-Go-Round [Epic, 1973]
Buried beneath three-and-a-half acres of violins are a couple of passable reggae songs and a mediocre-minus album. D+