Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Police: Zenyatta Mondatta [A&M, 1980]
Not to be confused with Regatta de Blanc, I don't think, this is where the latest vanguard of musicianly postminimalist abandons all pretense of pop (or reggae) mindlessness. Stewart Copeland's rhythms skank plenty while looting the whole wide world. Andy Summers's guitar harmonies are blatantly off-color, his melodic effects blatantly exotic. And Sting's words are about stuff--itchy general, teacher not petting with teacher's pet, plus, ahem, the perils of stardom. Summing it all up is their first true hit and only true masterpiece: "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da." B