Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Was (Not Was): Are You Okay? [Chrysalis, 1990]
With soulful Sweet Pea Atkinson fulfilling their authenticity quota and sarcastic David Was rapping like he thinks Stanard Ridgway is Kool Moe Dee, they diddybop nasty as they wanna diddybop along the edge of racial presumption, certain of their right to give "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" to papa's number-one son and to feel "better than James Brown" (whatever that means in 1990) even though they know they're gonna sideswipe his sexism two tracks later. Sure they're shallower than they wanna be half the time, in geopolitics especially. But even then they're sort of funny. A-