Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  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
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  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 Specials: The Specials [Chrysalis, 1980]
If it takes longer than you'd figure for these jingles to get across, that's partly because the ska they don't quite reinvent tends to skip where the reggae that succeeded it dug in, but also partly because their sound, especially their vocal sound, is just to thin to make an immediate impression (compare their "Monkey Man" to Toots's if you dare). In the end, though, there's a jaunty confidence to this music that's a lot less forced than power pop's. And there's no gainsaying their commercial messages--promote racial harmony, use contraceptives. A-