Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Lee Dorsey: Holy Cow! The Best of Lee Dorsey [Arista, 1985]
Except maybe for Fats Domino himself, Dorsey stands as the drollest and most durable of the New Orleans rock and roll singers. His lean, lilting, unflappably jaunty high baritone carries subtle emotional weight; exploiting flexibility rather than power, it counter-punches expertly against Allen Toussaint's elliptical comping and Ziggy Modeliste's rat-a-tat-tat (a-tat-tat). Dorsey never made a bad album (you should hear "Mexico" on his 1966 Amy hits-plus-filler entry), and Charly's UK compilation turns up many memorable obscurities. But I know damn well that this is the Dorsey record I'll be playing now. From "Ya-Ya" and "Do-Re-Mi" for Fury in 1961 to "Yes We Can" and "Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley" for Polydor in 1970, with eight Amy singles in between, it picks out all the obvious stuff and makes you love it. Why resist? A