Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Go-Betweens: 1978-1990 [Capitol, 1990]
Half best-of, half collectorama, this gets you coming and going: you had no idea the album highlights would mesh into perfect pop, and you had no idea the 45-rpm obscurities would coalesce into imperfect pop. What threw you off was that they always seemed too serious for pop, too grown up. But once Robert Forster and Grant McLennan stooped or leaped to melody, they were serious fun in spite of themselves. And bookishly static though they seemed, they were also a band. Forster and McLennan provided the internal tension--subtle friction at its most personal and its most cooperative. Lindy Morrison made sure they moved. A