Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Camper Van Beethoven: Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart [Virgin, 1988]
Suddenly these postmodern postfolkie weirdos are transformed into, of all things, a rock band--sans chops. And unfortunately, chops are an issue: both the one-dimensional matter-of-factness of the vocal concept and the time-keeping world-beat-by-numbers of the rhythmic philosophy stick out of Dennis Herring's honest AOR production, which messes up the band's balance even though it leaves everything but the mix untouched. Beneath this disorienting surface the message continues its evolution toward postanomie, and it would be a kick to hear "Life Is Grand," say, on the radio. Not AOR, though--college radio, where the nay-sayers it's aimed at call the shots. B+