Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Last Man Standing
Artists First

He's outlived Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash--now he's an old man beloved by slightly-less-old men

Eat his shorts, Frank Sinatra--this duets album is not another pathetic youthening move by a superannuated icon. Half a century after "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" shook the world, Jerry Lee Lewis will be 70 on its release date, but the mean age of his 22 partners is 63. It is, however, a duets album, so it waxes and wanes. Merle Haggard is tired, Ringo Starr generic, Kid Rock an oaf, etc. On the other hand, to hear Keith Richards caterwaul on "That Kind of Fool," Mick Jagger match the auteur's hauteur on "Evening Gown," Jimmy Page decline to boogie on "Rock and Roll" or John Fogerty set a land-speed record on "Travelin' Band" is to eavesdrop on the mythic. And that's what everyone involved is selling.

Blender, Nov. 2006