Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Son Seals: Midnight Son [Alligator, 1976]
Were it not for the brash reentry of the Winterized Muddy Waters, I could wax superlative; as it is, let's call it the finest Chicago blues record recorded in Chicago (get it?) since the second Hound Dog Taylor (also on this label). Seals performs the thrillingly paradoxical trick of keeping a raw guitar style under impeccable control and sings much better than his serviceable voice would seem to permit. In other words, he really knows what he's doing, and knowing doesn't stop him from doing it to it--it helps. So vibrantly conceived that I'm not even sure I should complain about the horns. A-