Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Consumer Guide Album

Ragga Essentials: In a Dancehall Style [Hip-O, 2000]
A little obvious up top-even rank outsiders know and may own "Hot Steppa," "Telephone Love," and "Ring the Alarm" by now. Not as striking as the VP competition as it moves into the late '90s, either. Nevertheless, this selection has the virtue of isolating tracks that tricked bizzers into envisioning crossover for the likes of Chaka Demus & Pliers, Apache Indian, Junior Reid, and Mykal Rose. As someone who has test-driven several albums by all of the above, I can attest that their direct hits were rare. But because these artists mean to break out of their genre, not to mention their culture, their punch is pretty powerful when it doesn't ask too much of their reach. A-