Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Cat Stevens: Greatest Hits [A&M, 1975]
Stevens has more spunk and verve than any other singer-songwriter I dislike. He's unpretentious yet harmonically idiosyncratic, with nice dissonances and a rocking chunka beat. He can be charming about things that really are nice, like dawn, and a few of the many songs he has written about his own confusion have a winning je-ne-sais-quoi. Unfortunately, for such a confused person, though, most things aren't really nice, and when "the world as it is" isn't driving him to tears ("Peace Train") he often lies about it. B-