Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Cat Stevens: Buddha and the Chocolate Box [A&M, 1974]
The difference between an album you love and an album you hate is often one or two cuts. An inspired song that fulfills a fantasy you never knew you had can make you believe in a whole side, while a song that commits some deadly sin can drag innocents to perdition. In "Music," for example, Cat tells us there wouldn't be any "wars in the world/If everybody joined in the band." This kind of lie is called a tautology; it's like saying there wouldn't be any hunger if everyone became an ice cream man. And makes you wonder why a guy who loves trees so much (reference: "King of Trees") designed a double-fold cover with cardboard inner sleeve for this unlovable single LP. C-