Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

James Brown: Get on the Good Foot [Polydor, 1972]
Only two hits on this studio double, though it takes Hank Ballard five minutes to describe its riches on side two--"he comes from all sides on this one." Lines repeat from song to song--"The long-haired hippies and the Afro blacks/All get together off behind the tracks/And they party"--and so do riffs. The hook on the twelve-minute "Please, Please" (not to be confused, of course, with "Please, Please, Please") repeats one hundred forty-eight (and a half) times. I love the hook, I even like the line, and if this were the world's only James Brown album it would be priceless. But there's a lot of waste here, and Brown's voice can't carry ballads the way it used to. B-