Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • Crucial [Island Black Music, 1998] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Crucial [Island Black Music, 1998]
That's short for Alistair, he's English--all right, Jamaican English, with a flair for the pan-African and a feeling for the African American. Not only has he mastered a vocal style half Al Green and a quarter each Ronnie Isley and Luther Vandross, he writes songs worthy of his musicality even if that means throwing some publishing to a collaborator. Untouched by reggae, funk, hip hop, or the spindrift impressionism of the postmodern love man, this kind of blindered formal command can only be learned from records--from aural data free of inhibiting social complications. After years of overrated Seals and Caron Wheelers, I wish I could be certain he'll be rewarded for it. A-