Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  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
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Consumer Guide Album

Etta James: Deep in the Night [Warner Bros., 1978]
Most of James's albums suffer from radical unevenness; this one is marred by its consistency. Producer Jerry Wexler's song choices are as tastefully imaginative as his arrangements, but James has never had much midrange, and her versions of (good) material from such luminaries as Kiki Dee, the Eagles, and Alice Cooper are inferior to the originals. She doesn't get much out of "Piece of My Heart," either. That said, I'll admit to enjoying side two--opening with a jaunty "Lovesick Blues" and touching base at gospel (Dorothy Love Coates), soul (Allen Toussaint), and r&b (revamping her own "I'd Rather Go Blind"). But it's still a little boring. Which means it's not the real Etta. B