Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Paul McCartney: Band on the Run [Apple, 1973]
I originally underrated what many consider McCartney's definitive post-Beatles statement, but not as much as its admirers overrate it. Pop masterpiece? This? Sure it's a relief after the vagaries of Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway, and most of side one passes tunefully enough--"Let Me Roll It" might be an answer to "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" and "Jet" is indeed more "fun" than "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey." But beyond those two the high points are the title track, about the oppression of rock musicians by cannabis-crazed bureaucrats, and the Afro-soul intro to "Mamunia," appropriate from relatives of the Nigerian children who posed for the inner sleeve with Sah and helpmates. C+