Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

David Johansen: Here Comes the Night [Blue Sky, 1981]
With the help of sideperson extraordinaire Blondie Chaplin, the pater-familias has finally mastered his own fast, vulgar studio-rock style, and this is his best solo, though only we who truly love him will hear it that way. True, the words aren't what they were in the Dolldays--"Marquesa de Sade," which rhymes "girl," "world," "pearls," and "social whirl" with an insistence that makes me wince, is typical. But like almost every other song here, "Marquesa de Sade" is also hooky and hearty. If In Style sounded desperate, this one sounds past caring, and carelessness was always the Dolls' secret. Inspirational Cliché: "You think I'm a whore/But I got a heart of gold." A-