Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Crack the Sky: Animal Notes [Lifesong, 1976]
"We Want Mine," a jarring little rocker about Third World deprivation, and "Animal Skins," which quotes George Harrison as it salvages every religious leader who's ever lived, convinced me for a while that the rest of this systematically disjoint music flowed and crackled appropriately. But for the most part the melodies of these art-pop set pieces don't live up to the harmonies; their premeditated shifts recall late Beatles when they work and middle Uriah Heep when they don't. I still prefer songs about Mounties to songs about centaurs. But I also prefer Mountie songs that keep galloping when the lyrical conceit gets boring, which it does. B