Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

This Are Two Tone [Chrysalis, 1983]
I recommend this knowledgeably programmed six-artist sampler as a longtime ska skeptic--although I grew to like the best albums of every band here, all of them are a bit narrow, which is one reason the style converts so smoothly to compilation. The other reason is that it was more than a style--it was a true movement, the most likable of all Britain's postpunk stabs in the dark. Only the Specials--six tracks, three from the debut--are overrepresented. And after all, it was their idea--and their label. A-