Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Teddy Pendergrass: Life Is a Song Worth Singing [Philadelphia International, 1978]
Romantic schlock at its sexiest and most honest. Pendergrass is in such control of his instrument that the more commonplace of the Sigma Sound orchestrations never spoil the mood, while the good ones--let's hear it for the sax breaks on "Only You"--accent it the way they're supposed to. The key is that he's not belting much--except for one dull party number, everything is medium-tempo or slower. Pendergrass has a tendency to bluster when he belts, to come on too strong. The slow stuff--these aural seductions are hardly "ballads"--plays up his vulnerability and gives his vocal textures room to breathe a little. B+