Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Consumer Guide Album

The Blasters: The Blasters [Slash, 1981]
Ex-Canned Heat piano man Gene Taylor and a horn section anchored by New Orleans's own Mr. Lee Allen wreck that neobilly image, as do the three reempowered remakes from their debut. Neobilly's just an excuse that lets them play blues--plus r&b, country, New Orleans, all the unfashionable vernaculars they love--to a young and hungry audience in a recharged dramatic context. If the originals work better than the covers, that's partly because Phil Alvin's expressive moan does sound pinched sometimes, so even when you don't know the source recording (which you probably don't), you can imagine it fuller. And it's partly because Dave Alvin is a songwriter with John Fogerty's bead on the wound-tight good times of America's tough white underbelly. A-