Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Paul Simon: One Trick Pony [Warner Bros., 1980]
The soundtrack to a going-nowhere flick about an over-the-hill rocker that he scripted, starred in, and of course scored is also his first true album in five years, and while it's literate, tasteful, etc., it's also--self-evidently--the work of a man who thinks he's too big for music (at five-foot-two, gosh). So if individual songs don't stand out the way they have ever since "The Sound of Silence," maybe he doesn't work as hard at them anymore. Like so many aging folkies he's devolved into a vaguely jazzy pop, and except for the lead cut and the one with Ray Charles on it everything serves the excuse for a groove. B-