Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
Books
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
NAJP Blog
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Consumer Guide Album

Billy Paul: 360 Degrees of Billy Paul [Philadelphia International, 1973]
At his worst, Paul is black naturalness at its most mannered--florid, hyped up, homiletic, sort of a Les McCann of small-time jazz singers. But Gamble and Huff have been making great music out of middlebrow jazz for years, and when they give Paul a good song--several of the black-consciousness riffs, which G&H seem to turn out as if they were so many follow-ups to "Tighten Up," are better than "Me and Mrs. Jones"--his overstatement is no more offensive than Ray Charles's. On stupid, unrealistic songs (e.g., "I'm Just a Prisoner") he sounds stupid and unrealistic, which figures. B-