Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Jackie DeShannon: Jackie [Atlantic, 1972]
About once a year, Jerry Wexler tries to bring a fundamentally soulful white female pop singer up to the minute. Sometimes it works (Dusty in Memphis, the all-time rock-era torch record), sometimes it doesn't (Cher, Lulu). This one almost works, not because DeShannon is such a terrific singer--although she's a lot more terrific with Wexler and friends pushing her from the bottom--but because for the first time in a while she's written a few terrific songs. Nothing wrong with her up-to-the-minute country-soul covers of Van Morrison, Neil Young, and their lessers, and nothing just right either. When she launches into her own "Vanilla 'Olay" or "Anna Karina," though, she sounds like time is on her side. B