Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Hatbox Hits

Zircons Amid Generics and Bombs

One Kiss Can Lead to Another: Girl Group Sounds, Lost & Found
Rhino
Side 1/Track 3. Chiffons: "Nobody Knows What's Goin' On (In My Mind But Me)" They love each other, he is not no good. That everybody guessed. But in the echoed vocals lurk thoughts the Chiffons themselves have barely glimpsed.

2/6. Earl-Jean: "I'm Into Somethin' Good." Experienced backup singer transforms teenage crush into eternal spring.

1/14. Maxine Brown: "Oh No Not My Baby." Longtime soul hopeful hangs onto innocence where Aretha Franklin and Rod Stewart sang pain.

1/2. Exciters: "He's Got the Power." That "Tell Him" girl--Brenda Reid by name--got the power, but Leiber-Stoller definitely help.

4/6. Marsha Gee: "Peanut Duck." Whoever Gee was, she quacked like a hoarse, gritty, demented duck.

2/12. Sandy Shaw: "Girl Don't Come." Brit-bossa ingenue calmly addresses guy done wrong.

4/14. Hollywood Jills: "He Makes Me So Mad." From New Orleans, the crudest record here, and almost the latest. He says she swims raw. She does.

1/23. Bessie Banks: "Go Now." The Moody Blues cover is just as valid. But for 1964, the uncontained soul is shocking.

2/27. Tammys: "Egyptian Shumba." Shimmy-shimmy-shimmy-shy-eye-missyness meets monkey noises. On the Nile.

3/25. Rev-Lons: "After Last Night." Their "He doesn't want a girlfriend" is the catchiest hook on the entire box.

3/26. Lovelites: "How Can I Tell My Mom & Dad." Roe v. Wade, here we come.

Village Voice, Feb. 21, 2006