Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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John Sebastian [extended]

  • John B. Sebastian [Reprise, 1970] B
  • The Four of Us [Reprise, 1971] C
  • The Tarzana Kid [Reprise, 1974] C-

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

John B. Sebastian: John B. Sebastian [Reprise, 1970]
Sebastian is as on for this solo debut as he ever was for the Lovin' Spoonful, and when he's on, the hummability quotient of his songs is dizzying--a good half of these imprint themselves upon impact. But just like Spoonful albums used to, this drags in the second half, and I feel vaguely let down. Maybe it's the gently paternalistic sexism of "She's a Lady" and "What She Thinks About." Or maybe it's his taste in T-shirts. B

The Four of Us [Reprise, 1971]
Sebastian makes the mistake of beginning this with two great blues, after which his own funk and mawk sound lifeless. This is unfair. They're really only feckless--or careless, like his love. The title suite (or whatever it is) is the tie-dyed mind at its sloppiest. C

The Tarzana Kid [Reprise, 1974]
It's nice to know California John isn't doing this for money. He's so warm he never has to sing for his supper--he can always get work as a chafing dish. C-

Further Notes:

Everything Rocks and Nothing Ever Dies [1990s]