Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Jerry Garcia: Garcia [Warner Bros., 1972]
Side one sounds almost too pleasant and catchy, as if Garcia and Robert Hunter--the most consistent songwriters anywhere over the past couple of years--had settled a little too comfortably into the slow, traditional, blues-tinged country-rock groove the Dead have been digging recently. The payoff is "Sugaree" and "Deal," classics no future-rocker could come up with. And then--surprise!--the second side balances (surprisingly unpretentious) musique concrete experimentation against the groove. B+