Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Stylistics: The Stylistics [Avco, 1971]
I try to be hip and think like the crowd, but when it comes to vocal harmony I'll take a black falsetto group over some privileged anti-barbershop quartet--especially if they have songs. I'll even let them have a pastoral fantasy--seems like a fair antithesis to their urban reality, an antithesis captured neatly on "Country Living" by the clash of extreme artifice and back-to-nature rhetoric. The first side doesn't quit, and although I could do without the silly (and musically long-winded) politics of "People Make the World Go Round" on the second, I can also make do with them. A-