Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Delroy Wilson: The Best of Delroy Wilson [Heartbeat, 1991]
These dozen ditties, quavered over about that many years atop a modest Coxsone Dodd groove that remained skalike well after ska was passe, are all I know of this much recorded, often cited, rarely described originator, whose first hit came in 1964, when he was 12; augmented slightly by two sweet dubs, they're the same dozen briefly available years ago from United Artists' Anthology of Reggae series. Rarely has pop music sounded more underdeveloped--between the scrawny horn arrangements and Wilson's uncertain pursuit of his simple tunes, it remains sweetly tentative whether he's fledgling or legend, naming his pain or pledging his eternal devotion. A-