Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Michael Jackson: Off the Wall [Epic, 1979]
In which fast-stepping Michael J. and quick-witted Quncy J. fashion the dance groove of the year. Michael's vocabulary of grunts, squeals, hiccups, moans, and asides is a vivid reminder that he's grown up, and the title tune suggests that maybe what makes Stevie Wonder (who contributes a good ballad) such an oddball isn't his genius or even his blindness so much as the fact that since childhood his main contact with the real world has been on stage and in bed. A