Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

X: More Fun in the New World [Elektra, 1983]
Aimed at the no-future generation, X's passionate reconstruction of musical (and marital) tradition is salutory, and this is their most accomplished album. Both the songwriting and Billy Zoom's guitar reach new heights of junk virtuosity, and "Breathless" is a stroke. But they're too complacent in their tumult. Their righteous anti-Brit chauvinism prevents them from seeing that in its way Culture Club, say, is at least as satisfying and generous-spirited as the Big Boys. And their unabashed beatnik identifications not only stinks slightly of retro but misses the point of rock bohemianism, which is that a proudly nonavant band like this ought to risk a little of its precious authenticity in an all-out effort to make converts. A-