Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

House Hallucinates: Pump Up the World Volume One [Vendetta, 1989]
Take it from your Uncle Bob--even at the time, no one thought hallucinogens enhanced gross motor function. Self-expression, utopian possibility, all that good stuff with insufficient material base--maybe. But as the hippie girls (not to mention boys) freaking through Woodstock and Monterey Pop remind us, acid didn't go with dance crazes. And with their hooks vanishing into the mix, the trickily rhythmic, subtly incremental, frustratingly one-dimensional synth doodles that dominate this two-disc acid house compilation are about as engrossing as a Greg Elmore drum solo. I observe admiringly that the music is kind of avant-garde. I note that the lyrics are mantralike. And I concede that all of it must connect better in context. But I doubt I'd take a shine to the context even if I didn't have to get up in the morning. So I advise the curious to check out the context first. C