Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Do the Right Thing [Motown, 1989]
Though Spike Lee may romanticize blackness, neoreactionaries are bullshitting when they claim he romanticizes black rage. On his most coherently contemporary piece of aural upward mobility, he centers Afro-America's great tradition in soul, with Stevie Wonder a key influence; the rage begins and ends with "Fight the Power" and is countered by Take 6's postgospel "Don't Shoot Me" ("I didn't mean to step on your sneakers"). Guy and EU give Spike primo new stuff for the rhythmic-wonderland side, but only Ruben Blades fully transcends the songwriting problems on the vocal-riches side--problems that begin and maybe end with de facto producer Raymond Jones. B+