Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Paul McCartney: Pipes of Peace [Columbia, 1983]
I've finally figured out what people mean when they call Paulie pop--they mean he's not rock. But to me pop implies a strict sense of received form whether crafted by the dB's or Billy Joel. McCartney's in his own world entirely, which is the charm of his music. And of course, a reliance on charm has always been his weakness. This is quite pleasant except when Britain's number-one earner preaches against violence as if self-interest wasn't an issue, which is also the only time it comes into firm contact with the great outside. B-