Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This

The rare band reunion that brings out the best in all concerned

In the early '70s, the New York Dolls pre-invented punk by rocking brief, funny, catchy songs with simultaneously compelling and inept panache, never quite in tune or on the beat. With headman David Johansen a far more practiced and studied (and aged) singer and the others in his reconstituted band all accomplished musicians, the old sense of inspired derangement is muted on the first new Dolls album in 32 years. But from the orgiastic "We're All in Love" to the painfully mortal "Take a Good Look at My Good Looks," they're all clearly Dolls for life. "Dance Like a Monkey" typifies Johansen's mindplay--about jungle music, absolutely, but also about evolution, and a "pretty little creationist." And on a slow one, he unveils his hidden credo: "You've got the human condition./Boy I feel sorry for you."

Blender, Aug. 2006