Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Pointer Sisters: The Best of the Pointer Sisters [ABC/Blue Thumb, 1976]
I realize in retrospect that I didn't like how they sounded mostly because I didn't like what they portended--camp-elegant escapist nostalgia--less liberating than Bette or Dr. Buzzard, but less reactionary than Manhattan Transfer or whoever's breaking out of the boites this month. Church roots help, and not just vocally--their superb taste (from Dizzy Gillespie to Allen Toussaint) has a moral center expressed in songs of their own like "Jada," a generation-gap lyric that ranks with "Handbags and Gladrags," and "Shakey Flat," about moving to the country from an actual city. What's more, someone seems to know when they're good--with David Rubinson putting his twenty grand in, they've committed a lot of excesses and banalities, but not too many survive on this compilation. B+