Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • Live at Reggae Sunsplash [Sunsplash, 1983] B+
  • Reggae Anthology: Look How Me Sexy [VP, 2001] **

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Live at Reggae Sunsplash [Sunsplash, 1983]
If Big Youth is the dread George Jessel, then the albino orphan who's supplanted him as JA's premier toaster is something altogether more waggish and blue, an unwitting amalgam of Eddie Cantor, Mae West, and Pigmeat Markham. Though groovemasters follow wherever he goes, his albums tend to run together because music isn't really the point, and neither is political or spiritual uplift. The point is entertainment, and live he concentrates on his best material, blued up a bit to give the crowd something extra for its money. Encore: "Sit Under Me." B+

Reggae Anthology: Look How Me Sexy [VP, 2001]
the man who invented slackness, for better and mostly worse ("Nobody Move Nobody Get Hurt," "Zunguzung") **

Further Notes:

Subjects for Further Research [1980s]: Voice, timing, enunciation, and entertainment value made this unbleached blond the premier toaster of the '80s, but as his sexism and homophobia became more virulent, his rise to prominence with the reactionary Edward Seaga seemed less coincidental. At his best he's an unwitting amalgam of Eddie Cantor, Mae West, and Pigmeat Markham, but when his albums don't run together they distinguish themselves for the worst reasons. Live at Reggae Sunsplash, with its postclimactic "Sit Under Me," is suitably waggish and blue. Michael Manley should nationalize him and release a politically correct compilation.

Everything Rocks and Nothing Ever Dies [1990s]