Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

UB40: Present Arms [DEP International, 1981]
They're not about to revolutionize JA--not by carpentering the bass lines, horn charts, and dub effects of the reggae of yesteryear (1975, say) into an indigenous pop r&b. And though they have their own DIY label, they're not about to revolutionize their native U.K. either. But their conscience is catching--I know, because I fell for "One in Ten" on Radio Luxembourg despite my objections to its merely liberal message. Their toasting is pretty infectious too. And they relegate the instrumentals to a bonus twelve-inch. Still, I doubt they'll break the DOR barrier here--what passes for mild protest in England these days might sound dangerous Stateside. It might even be dangerous. A-