Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Playboy Music

No way Boston's Tom Scholz is a profiteer--not when he's spent six years doing Third Stage (MCA) his way. In fact, even though he's patently reluctant to venture out of the studio retreat he calls home, he's more like a priest of the Church of Latter-Day Arena Rock, perfecting majestic guitar sounds and angelic vocals for hockey-rink cathedrals the world over. And just in case designated singer Brad Delp--or, heaven forbid, Scholz himself--doesn't hear the call to go out among boys and preach the word, Scholz has also designed elegiac melodies suitable to a modern radio ministry. What it all means is known only to adepts. MCA figures there are about 10,000,000 of 'em.

In Britain, shambling has been described as a new movement or, at least, a new revival, though it sounds like a slightly effete variation on the Sixties-style all-guitar pop heard in American garages since before Mitch Easter was a legend. The first three entrants with domestic label deals are all talented young bands, but, like their U.S. counterparts, they tend toward stasis. Hence, The Mighty Lemon Drops will probably end up also-rans, though the tough, uncut edge of their Happy Head (Sire) sets it apart--from, for instance, James's Stutter (Sire), winch redeems itself somewhat by delivering morbidly eccentric lyrics and cutting its peculiar hooks with hints of neopsychedelic chaos. So far, only the Woodentops have more to say musically than is dreamed of in electric jangle and the odd good tune. Their fastest tracks--usually also then earliest ones, sad to say, which is why Well Well Well . . . (Upside) tops the fairly wooden Giant (Columbia)--could be punk without nihilism. Let's hope the cuteness is only a phase.

Playboy, Mar. 1987


Feb. 1987 Apr. 1987