Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Urgh! A Music War [A&M, 1981]
Yet another special-price double from new-wave compilation kings Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss. The gimmick is live (hence previously unreleased) versions of theoretical AOR and actual dance-floor faves by artists from all over, and despite the intrusion of a few A&M contractees the result is quite impressive, with the audience participation adding fire to pop-rock that lacked heat in the studio. For those who find that discos keep them up past their bedtime, here's an encouraging take on what's been happening--not world overthrow, that's for sure, but fun enough in the right doses. B