Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Consumer Guide Album

Backstreet Boys: Backstreet Boys [Jive, 1997]
I'm not claiming I would have gotten the message without a 13-year-old I know broadcasting it from her boombox. But keynoted by two guaranteed pop classics, one dance and one heart, this is genius teensploitation. I give half credit to songwriter-svengali Max Martin, who's put in time with Ace of Base. But as someone who still suspects Abba were androids, I award the other half to the Boys, without whose sincere if not soulful simulations of soul and sincerity Martin's slow ones would be as sickening as any other promise that's made to be broken. Together the team manufactures a juicy sexual fantasy for virgins who get nervous when performers grab their dicks and think it's gross when teenage ignoramuses copy the move. They deserve one. After all, it is gross. A-