Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Elvis Presley: Reconsider Baby [RCA Victor, 1985]
Peter Guralnick's contention that this blues singer is "unencumbered by myth or self-consciousness" doesn't survive the widely admired title (and lead) track. Especially by the late '60s, he's a white boy who knows he's getting fonky--and who doesn't surround himself with especially fonky musicians. So rhythms falter, and arrangements get out of hand. The great singer and hillbilly cat puts his weird stamp on almost every tune anyway. But despite the uncensored "One Night," and the salacious "Merry Christmas, Baby," only once does he outdo himself--on the unreleased Sun master "Tomorrow Night," which was already pretty ethereal in Lonnie Johnson's original. A-