Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Ohio Players: Gold [Mercury, 1976]
OK, I don't approve of their album covers, although this one is relatively innocent--instead of casting the bald naked woman in molten metal they put wings on her and let her deliver a gold record, like an angel, or a carrier pigeon. But the visuals don't turn me off the aurals, which at their best fuse the body heat of funk with the mind games of the novelty single--that is, unite rhythmic and conceptual eccentricity. The not-on-any-album cuts are wasted--"Feel the Heat (Everybody Disco)" works just well enough to prove how mistaken they were to soften their attack for a subtitle. But four or five of these tracks are unmitigated miracles of commerce, and all of them are of a piece. A-