Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Jane Siberry: When I Was a Boy [Reprise, 1993]
Interesting music is the perfect cover for mediocre literature. Many serious pop fans, especially genteel ones, are so hungry for tokens of intelligence that they'll cut slack for anyone who transcends the quatrain, pondering sung imagery they wouldn't glance at in a slim volume. If you skip "Sweet Incarnadine" ("edited down from a 20 min. improvisation," God help us), this isn't altogether horrible. Siberry has a sense of shape and texture; there are clever glints of informality in her presentation; her passion shows more smarts and decency than most. But her settings are only settings. And her words are only intelligent. B-