Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Don McLean: American Pie [United Artists, 1971]
The title cut is the great novelty song that may be about the death of rock and roll or may be about its refusal to die. The other material here indicates that McLean himself believes the former, but since it also indicates that he couldn't have composed "American Pie"--he just took dictation from the shade of Buddy Holly, who must be taking some pretty strong drugs up there to make such a mistake--you might as well judge for yourself. And do so like a real novelty-lover, by buying the single--unless you're in the market for a song about how nobody understood Van Gogh. C-