Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • Guy [Uptown/MCA, 1988] A-
  • The Future [MCA, 1990] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Guy [Uptown/MCA, 1988]
Until you absorb the beats and focus in on Aaron Hall, Teddy Riley's main band sound like almost arrogantly anonymous light funksters. Riley would always rather insinuate than overwhelm, and Hall lacks the chops and the inclination to soul anybody out--learned his main shit from the Gap Band and Stevie Wonder. He often sounds like he's winging it. But where Bobby Brown and Al B. Sure! play the love man falsetto straight, Hall adds depth by straying toward the manly emotionalism of the church. And unlike most light funksters, Riley doesn't aspire to slow ones. A-

The Future [MCA, 1990]
As is only natural, I have as much trouble relating personally to Aaron Hall's woo-pitching Wonderisms as to, I don't know, Keith Sweat's tender Teddyisms. But I do appreciate them, and if forced to a choice I'd definitely rather suck him off than Dr. Dre. At long last male soft-core--moved, appreciative, desperate for more. Elsewhere it's the present of the funk--Prince here, Imagination there, both as new as jack can be. Plus a kissoff to Gene Griffin doubling as a get-yours-from-the-man cheer. A-