Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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James Carr

  • Take Me to the Limit [Goldwax, 1991] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Take Me to the Limit [Goldwax, 1991]
Most of Carr's legend is in his voice, a great grave thing that doesn't so much interpret his best material as haunt it, and for as long as the songs on this album hold out the voice holds out too--even on the lighthearted "Sugar Shock." I think that's how it works, anyway--all I can swear is that somewhere around cut seven the proceedings thicken uncomfortably and then grind to a near-halt. Since the rest of Carr's legend revolves around his long periods of seclusion, I attributed the undistanced commitment of his rare, recent live show to the fact that he'd never sung his great songs into the ground. Having since located this record, I now suspect that some of those I thought I'd forgotten were new. "Take Me to the Limit" and "She's Already Gone" are squarely in the obsessive tradition of "Dark End of the Street," which belonged to him first. B+

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