Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Dionne Warwick: Dionne [Arista, 1972]
"Hasbrook Heights" is no "Walk On By," but it is an ambitious, honest song about the pleasures of the suburbs, where her chosen audience resides. Unfortunately, it's outnumbered by ambitious, dishonest songs directed at the same audience. Whether Hal David takes care of the liberal pieties himself ("Be Aware") or passes them along from Jacques Brel ("If We Only Have Love") and Lesley Duncan ("Love Song"), he's selling lies so blatant and boring that even his chosen audience must know it. And while Burt Bacharach's four arrangements (unlike those of Bob James and Don Sebesky, who get three each) are more tart and surprising than ever, too often he underlines "meaning" with the little dramatic touches of someone who'd like to get into something classier than the record business, like the Broadway stage. C+