Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Richard & Linda Thompson: Shoot Out the Lights [Hannibal, 1982]
News of the wife's solitary return to England brings this relationship-in-crisis album home--including the husband's "bearded lady" warning in "The Wall of Death," ostensibly a synthesis of his thanatotic urge and lowlife tic. If poor Richard's merely "A Man in Need," I'm an ayatollah, but I have to give him credit--these are powerfully double-edged metaphors for the marriage struggle, and "Did She Jump or Was She Pushed?" is as damning an answer song as Linda could wish. A