Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  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
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Consumer Guide Album

R.E.M.: Lifes Rich Pageant [I.R.S., 1986]
Musically, this talented minor band's fastest-breaking album represents no significant departure from the past, though just how many recapitulations of their lyricism one needs is clearly beginning to trouble those who took it too seriously in the first place. The players still make them and the singer-lyricist still refuses to define them, and while his projection has improved, it's hardly crystalline and wouldn't tell you anything you didn't know if it was. I mean, this is music for mushheads, and that it retains an undeniable if rather abstract charm only proves that there's a little mushhead in all of us. I give album four the nod over number three for its compelling snare sound and dynamic cover version. And insist that any normal person can make do with number one, when all this was a tad more spontaneous. B+