Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Hot Chocolate: Cicero Park [Big Tree, 1974]
From the black-and-white London group that originated "Brother Louie" comes an album that might sound startling in retrospect and is impressive now. At the very least, its insightful confusions over class and race locate the honest roots of one kind of black conservatism. Both Mickie Most's precise, almost formal framing (pop hard rock veering toward disco) and the elocution of singer-composers Errol Brown (hard) and Tony Wilson (soft) make for an overall detachment unbroken by the passion of individual cuts. Strange to hear soul with a British accent. B+