Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Consumer Guide Album

Malcolm McLaren: Fans [Island, 1984]
Although what attracts McLaren to opera is proven commercial tunes he doesn't have to pay for, he does end up making sly, slantwise connections between two wildly successful strains of romantic superschlock: Puccini and disco. "Madam Butterfly" has the killer hook, with McLaren's Pinkerton a bizarre yet rather affecting country-cockney hybrid. But the great genre-fuck is "Fans" itself, with disco diva Angie B. doing a recitative so dumb and charming it reminds us not only that you don't need brains to love opera but that this may well be the nicest thing you can say about the stuff. Listen to Angie stumble over a few notes of real Puccini in the coda, then ask yourself whether featured soprano Betty Ann White would improve them by doing them right. B+