Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Robert Cray Band: False Accusations [HighTone, 1985]
After several metastases worth of bar smoke, Cray's voice has finally changed: his singing is strong and unashamed, adorned only by his waste-free guitar. But what makes Cray a major artist in an obsolescent style is the songs, the sharpest often written by his producers. Dennis Walker is the obsessed sinner ("Porch Light"'s guilt-as-pleasure, "I've Slipped Her Mind"'s month after), Bruce Bromberg a/k/a D. Amy more the all-purpose pro, though "Playin' in the Dirt" certainly feels lived in. And Cray, who has a credit on that one, gets all of "The Last Time (I Get Burned Like This)." Not since Moe Bandy was an honest man has anyone laid out the wages of fucking around with such unflagging precision. A-