Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Heatwave: Central Heating [Epic, 1978]
Personally, I've always thought sucking was fun, but I know people intend an insult when they say disco sucks, and this is the kind of preprogrammed pap they're thinking of. Most of it has as much emotional substance as the soundtrack to Integrated Beach Party--here the background music for the boisterous-barbecue sequence, there the accompaniment for the gentle-fuck scene. This does feature a nice post-doowop vocal on "Happiness Togetherness" (what am I supposed to call it, fifth cut first side?), and "The Groove Line" does its filthy work as fast as a Dr. Pepper jingle, but only on the title cut do the layered rhythms and harmonies get interesting, the way good disco should. And surprise: this is not a hit on the disco circuit. C-