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

Curtis Mayfield: Curtis [Curtom, 1970]
Initially I distrusted these putatively middlebrow guides to black pride--"Miss Black America" indeed. But a lot of black people found them estimable, so I listened some more, and I'm glad. Since Mayfield is a more trustworthy talent than Isaac Hayes, I wasn't too surprised at the durability of the two long cuts--the percussion jam is as natural an extension of soul music (those Sunday handclaps) as the jazzish solo. What did surprise me was that the whole project seemed less and less middlebrow as I got to know it. Forget the harps--"Move On Up" is Mayfield's most explicit political song, "If There's a Hell Below We're All Gonna Go" revises the usual gospel pieties, and "Miss Black America" has its charms, too. B+