Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Elvis Presley: A Valentine Gift for You [RCA Victor, 1985]
I know he invented rock and roll, in a manner of speaking, but I have news for you--that's not why he's worshiped as a god today. He's worshiped as a god today because in addition to inventing rock and roll he was the greatest ballad singer this side of Frank Sinatra--because the spiritual translucence and reined-in gut sexuality of his slow weeper and torchy pop blues still activate the hormones and slavish devotion of millions of female human beings worldwide. Beginning and ending with the schlock masterpieces "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" and "Can't Help Falling in Love" and rescuing tracks from such renowned works of phonographic art as the Viva Las Vegas EP, the Spinout soundtrack, and the Something for Everybody album, this may not be a religious experience, but it comes close. My only real complaint is Peggy Lee's (not Little Willie John's) "Fever." Because in this company I really miss "It's Now or Never." A