Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Beautiful South: 0898 Beautiful South [Elektra, 1992]
Even more obscure stateside since he got lusher conventions, songsmith Paul Heaton does his endangered species proud. The tunes stick, and the lyrics transcend their sarcastic shtick--predictably idiosyncratic though "You do English/I'll do sums/You break fingers/I'll break thumbs" may be, it brings you up short anyway. Peter Gabriel/Kate Bush hand Jon Kelly adds musical authenticity, and third vocalist Briana Corrigan sings lines like "This is the woman you laid" with just the right edge of icy remorse. Introduce them to a decent drum programmer and they could be a threat. A-