Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide by Review Date: 1977-04-25


Delbert McClinton: Love Rustler (ABC, 1977) McClinton's cult sentimentalizes bar music. The fact that bars encourage a relatively innocent functionality--pleasing a small concrete audience rather than a [ . . . ] make them any more "authentic" than studios: McClinton is essentially a male Texas version of Linda Ronstadt--a strong-voiced, versatile singer who doesn't seem like an especially interesting person. This means not only that he's at the mercy of songwriters and arrangements but also that he isn't likely to have very distinctive taste in either. The title cut is a classic, and several of the remakes are worth hearing more than twice, but asa whole this album is as pleasant and forgettable as a Friday night out. B-

Diana Ross: An Evening With Diana Ross (Motown, 1977) The band could be Doc Severinsen's and the rushed tempo medleys are maddening, but the vivacity in this live double-LP is palpable. I haven't gotten such a good idea of what the fuss is about since Lady Sings the Blues. B-

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