Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Consumer Guide Album

Elvis Costello: Mighty Like a Rose [Warner Bros., 1991]
Too often his pessimism sounds like not just bitterness but spite. He didn't take over the world, and is he mad--not only can't he make the personal political, he can't even make it popular. The Mitchell Froom-produced arrangements here are stuck between Tom Waits as Kurt Weill and Tom Waits as Jackson Browne--Randy Newman is beyond them. So as performed, the good songs are overblown tragedies, the bad ones overblown trifles. The best is the simplest because it's the simplest--"Playboy to a Man," love to hear John Hiatt rockabilly it. The most tragic is the chiliastic "Other Side of Summer," recommended to punk bands in the market for a song with a lot of words in it. And I admit "Invasion Hit Parade" almost makes the spiteful political. Its theory of life is that fascism has a great deal in common with songs you don't like on the radio. C+