Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Beat Street [Atlantic, 1984]
I wish Grandmaster Melle Mel hadn't bothered with the plot summary (I also wish he'd stop saying "Huh!" all the time), and I wish Jake Holmes hadn't bothered with the "love theme" (he can do the sequel, Bleecker Street). But executive producer Arthur Baker (with the help of executive producer Harry Belafonte, I'm sure) has done his best to drown the dreck in electrohop, with Bambaataa and the System fashioning gratifyingly sharp tracks. In addition, Rubén Blades proves that romance isn't dead, just Jake Holmes. And Sharrock returns. B