Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Jungle Brothers: J. Beez Wit the Remedy [Warner Bros., 1993]
Four years after, you can definitely discern an absence--of faith or community or existential confidence, youth or advance money or raw spiritual health. Where once hooks were a pop luxury their holistic groove had no time for, now the JB's sound as dissociated as some tortured hippie manque or privileged gangsta. So catchier would be nice. Yet they remain unique--street, street-tough, devoid of suburban patina or collegiate pretension, yet somehow free of hostility, blissed out in their blackness. Positive, I guess. And the great stuff--the beats concrète of "Blahbludify" and "For the Heads at Company Z" and "Man Made Material," maybe the headlong preclimax of "JB's Comin' Through" and "Spittin Wicked Randomness"--experiments more esoterically the Michaels D or Ivey have ever dared. B+