Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Replacements: Tim [Sire, 1985]
No songwriter in memory matches Paul Westerberg's artful artlessness, the impression he creates of plumbing his heart as he goes along. Statements like "Hold My Life" and "Bastards of Young" are pretty grand when you think about it, but you don't notice in the offhand context of the tastelessly amorous "Kiss Me on the Bus" or the tastelessly resentful "Waitress in the Sky." So far Westerberg hasn't been touched by the pretension and mere craft that seem to be inevitable side effects of such a gift, and I see no reason to anticipate that he will be. With a band this there, presence is all. A-