Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Esther Phillips: Performance [Kudu, 1974]
Phillips's adventurous material is one reason her jazzy pop blues are so lively, but here she's bested by Eugene McDaniels's "Disposable Society" ("They've thrown away sincerity, the keystone of integrity") and Allen Toussaint's title tune ("I'm a thing that makes music they don't understand"). On the other hand, eight minutes of Chris Smithers's "I Feel the Same" seems just about right. B+