Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Eddy Grant

  • Walking on Sunshine [Epic, 1979] B-
  • Killer on the Rampage [Portrait, 1983] B+
  • Going for Broke [Portrait, 1984] C+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Walking on Sunshine [Epic, 1979]
A Guayanese producer and one-man band, Grant gets an almost calypsonian, steel-drum feel out of his synthesizer, s well as some nice orchestral stuff. The first side is dancey and more. But the second side is thrown away. And the lyrics are quite uncalypsonian. B-

Killer on the Rampage [Portrait, 1983]
There's an expediency to Grant's songwriting--try "Latin Love Affair," or the equally routine "Funky Rock 'n' Roll," or a rhyme like "My heart does a tango/I love you like a mango"--that makes it hard to believe he's a hero. Instead of drawing some Caribbean analogy, I'd compare him to the Isley Brothers--artist-entrepreneurs with good intentions and a good assembly line. Of course, there's a ramshackle quality to the assembly line that saves even its most expedient product from slickness, and this is far from that--except on the hard-to-find Live at Notting Hill import, his good intentions have never been more out front. B+

Going for Broke [Portrait, 1984]
Though it pains me to put it in black and white, Grant is half hack, and pop gambles are by their very nature never as all-or-nothing as his brave title pretends. The dance cuts don't walk on sunshine, the rockers sow no special feel for that beat, and as a ballad singer he's such a born belter it's amazing he brings off even the charming "Blue Wave." C+