Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  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
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

Zetrospective: Dancing in the Face of Adversity [ZE, 1989]
Resuscitating the four standout tracks from the 1981 nouveau-disco anthology Seize the Beat and 12 others besides, this is the soundtrack to a lost era--art-scene disco according to Michael Zilkha on one side, art-scene DOR ditto on the other. It's very Manhattan, even more dilettantishly cerebral after all these years, and I prefer the disco even though the beat does get repetitive (those handclaps): only Kid Creole's "I'm a Wonderful Thing Baby," which oddly enough is the compilation's only readily available cut, has much give to it. But good work by uneven or ultimately tedious artists abounds. From Cristina's satiric "Disco Clone" to Was (Not Was)'s literal "White People Can't Dance," from Coati Mundi's bad-rapping "Que Pasa/Me No Pop I" to Lydia Lunch's sweet-talking "Lady Scarface," from Don Armando's cheesy "Deputy of Love" to Breakfast Club's cheesy "Rico Mambo," this is the first postmodern dance music--dance music with a critical spirit. And it's funny as hell. A-