Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Alexander O'Neal: Hearsay [Tabu, 1987]
This took a lot longer to break through in the living room than it would have on the dance floor, so homebodies be patient. What makes the difference in the end is that Jam & Lewis are letting their love man play the nasty guy--"Fake" and "Criticize" take the offensive after "Hearsay" puts it sweetly. And unlike Jam & Lewis's nasty girl, O'Neal has the vocal muscle (and biceps) to back his nasty up. What's more, the same muscle turns "Sunshine" into a confection you could take home to mother. B+