Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Eric Burdon/Jimmy Witherspoon

  • Guilty! [MGM, 1971] B

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Guilty! [MGM, 1971]
Burdon has a clumsy knack for coming out on the other side of a bad idea--after "Monterey," which was just silly, "Sky Pilot" seemed transcendently silly. And while his stint with War symptomized his chronic racial confusion, he gets on quite well with Witherspoon--especially considering that 'Spoon is said to represent Kansas City class while Eric supposedly epitomizes Newcastle nowhere. Maybe the truth in both cases is less extreme. Anyway, neither singer comes up with anything definitive here, but both deal soulfully--sometimes almost indistinguishably--with these solid, politically tinged songs, and a sharp young guitarist named John Sterling provides a few highlights. B