Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Gang of Four: Entertainment! [Warner Bros., 1980]
Though the stressful zigzag rhythms sound thinner on record than from the stage where their chanted lyrics/nonmelodies become visible, the progressive atavism of these university Marxists is a formal accomplishment worth attending. By propelling punk's amateur ethos into uncharted musical territory, they pull the kind of trick that's eluded avant-garde primitives since the dawn of romanticism. And if you want to complain that their leftism is received, so's your common sense. No matter how merely liberal their merely critical verbal content, the tension/release dynamics are praxis at its most dialectical. Don't let's boogie--let's flop like fish escaping a line. A