Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

High Fidelity [Hollywood, 2000]
The best mix tapes are made by guys with good ears, crammed shelves, and tastes that don't quite match up with yours, so they're full of surprises. Roky Erikson's greatest hit undiminished by Ray Davies's lesser one, say. Classic Costello from a subclassic album, classic Dylan ditto, Doug Yule as Lou Reed (twice), Arthur Lee on earth. Eight minutes of obscure Stereolab just when you need a change of pace. Memorable Smog and notable Royal Trux and intriguing Beta Band and acceptable John Wesley Harding and now they can all go back where they came from. Stevie Wonder pledging his obvious love. Cinematic compromises that almost fit in. We want more movies about record geeks because we want more soundtracks like this one. A-