Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide by Review Date: 2013-01-04


The Bachata Legends: The Bachata Legends (iASO, 2011) Thirty years later, DR icons re-record their bittersweet acoustic hits like the nostalgic professionals they've had the opportunity to become (Leonardo Paniagua, "En un quarto dos amantes"; El Chivo Sin Ley, "Tirale bajito") ***

Enoch Assembly: King Elvis Dead (self-released, 2011) Twenty-four Elvis-Beatles-Herman's Hermits interviews and ad snippets ask why the King never visited the mother country, among other things (Elvis Presley, "Perfect for Parties LP 10-56"; Paul McCartney, "Ram Ad") **

Taj Mahal: The Hidden Treasures of Taj Mahal 1969-1973 (Columbia/Legacy, 2012) A dozen previously unearthed semiprecious stones plus ramshackle concert ("Sweet Mama Janisse," "I Pity the Poor Immigrant") **

Mighty Sparrow: Sparromania!--Wit, Wisdom, & Soul From the King of Calypso 1962-1974 (Strut, 2012) Got paid every time he walked into a studio--still does ("Dancehall Brawl," "No Money, No Love") *

Shonen Knife: Osaka Ramones: A Tribute to the Ramones (Damnably, 2011) Temporarily unannoying J-altpop post-geishas chirp the classics ("We're a Happy Family," "Blitzkrieg Bop") ***

Paul Simon: Live in New York City (Concord/Hear Music, 2012) Old perfessor's enjoyable survey course in his own legacy, only he should never let the world forget "Peace Like a River" ("The Boy in the Bubble," "That Was Your Mother") **

Lowe Country: The Songs of Nick Lowe (Fiesta Red, 2012) New-country hopefuls impart more life to old new wave songwriter than he's shown in 20 years (Caitlin Rose, "Lately I've Let Things Slide"; Jeff the Brotherhood, "Marie Provost") *

This One's for Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark (Icehouse, 2011) Legend gets the country-canted alt-star lovefest he deserves (Ray Wylie Hubbard, "Homegrown Tomatoes"; Suzy Bogguss, "Instant Coffee Blues"; Jack Ingram, "Stuff That Works") ***

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