Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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French Frith Kaiser Thompson

  • Live, Love, Larf and Loaf [Rhino, 1987] A-

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Live, Love, Larf and Loaf [Rhino, 1987]
First side's got the skewed songcraft you'd hope, second the avant-folk excursions you'd fear, and both outdo anything you'd dare expect. Despite the prolonged "Drowned Dog Black Night," first side's also the strongest Thompson since he elected to pursue his solo dick. Good that he doesn't have to do it all--from French's wacky "Wings la Mode" to the collective demolition of "Surfin' USA," it's an ad hoc collaboration that sounds as good as it reads. As for the excursions, well, renowned guitarist Thompson exercises a restraining influence on wealthy plectrum enthusiast Kaiser. Maybe next time they'll persuade Frith to put down his fiddle and join them in a fifteen-minute "Free Bird." A-