Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Al Stewart: Love Chronicles [Epic, 1970]
A landmark: the first rock record to use the word "fuck" ("fucking," actually) at the end of a line, an achievement typical of its occasional flaws--the rhyming word, "plucking," is forced--and unrepresentative of its success. The eighteen-minute title cut is a decent, serious, and touching reminiscence of sexual growth that for all its male bias is recommended to songwriters reluctant to shed their adolescence. The other songs are well-observed despite their sentimental tendencies, and guest guitarist Jimmy Page proves that folk-rock is his metier. B+