Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

UB40: Signing Off [Graduate, 1980]
Eight black-and-whites from Birmingham who named themselves after the dole card they know so well, they don't play no ska--they're songsmiths in a deep reggae groove. Like good reggaeheads (and unlike punk/mod ska speeders), they take their time instead of pressing on to the next one, and more than one instrumental outwears its welcome. But when they're singing "Tyler is guilty" or "King where are your people now?" or "I'm a British subject, not proud of it" or--guess who--"Madame Medusa," patience is rewarded. B+