Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Go-Go's: Beauty and the Beat [I.R.S., 1981]
Unlike so many groups who live and die by the hook, this one's got hooks, and when you pay attention to the lyrics it seems possible that they don't live and die by the hook at all--"Tonite" and "Skidmarks on My Heart," to choose but two unprepossessing examples, work subtle twists on teen fatalism and obsession, respectively. When you don't pay attention to the lyrics, which isn't hard, you begin to think they live and die by the hook after all. And you're probably right. B+