Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Replacements: All for Nothing/Nothing for All [Reprise, 1997]
I never bought the theory that Warners tamed them--life generally has that effect anyway. But the all-for-nothing disc's selection from the slide made inevitable by Let It Be, which stands beside Wild Gift as Amerindie's very peak, short-changes the wild ("I Won't") and the tasteless ("Waitress in the Sky"); you'd be better off with Tim. The miscellaneous arcana on the nothing-for-all disc, however, are pretty unkempt for a pop band in the process of mastering its craft as it loses its purpose--a blues, a lo-fi proposition, a Disney cover, B sides, what-all. In fact, although or because it's a mess, it's got more pizzazz than either of their two final albums. No "Aching to Be," that's for sure. A-