Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Laura Lee: Women's Love Rights [Hot Wax, 1972]
The title hit actually mentions "women's liberators and men sympathizers," a black-music first, and unlike "Respect," say, it lays out a critical analysis as well as asserting a prerogative. But the underlying if-you-can't-beat-'em passivity of this analysis comes clear in an amazing eight-minute version of "Since I Fell for You" ("You made me leave my happy home" and so forth) that says a lot more about Lee's real power than "Wedlock Is a Padlock." It's also worth noting that many of her most militant songs were written by one William Weatherspoon. How about a chorus of "You Don't Own Me," Ms. Lee? B