Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Richard Lloyd

  • Alchemy [Elektra, 1979] B+
  • Field of Fire [Mistiur, 1985] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Alchemy [Elektra, 1979]
Lloyd really has his pop down, and this record never fails to cheer me when it comes on--the songwriting and guitar textures are consistently tuneful and affecting. I don't mind that he always sings off-key, either--part of the charm of his pop is how loose it is. But the voice is so wacked-out that even if you'd never seen Lloyd lurching around a stage or matching magic with Tom Verlaine you'd sense that where for the Shoes or the Beat teen romance is a formal stricture, for him it's an evasion--he's just not telling us what he knows. B+

Field of Fire [Mistiur, 1985]
In crucial ways he predates punk, and formally this is more Warren Zevon or Tom Petty than Tom Verlaine. What makes it go isn't songwriting--please, kids, never ever rhyme "fire" and "funeral pyre." It's Lloyd's concentration, plus of course his guitar, which I'll take over Mike Campbell's or even Waddy Wachtel's nine tries out of ten. B+