Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Big Audio Dynamite

  • This Is Big Audio Dynamite [Columbia, 1985] B-
  • Megatop Phoenix [Columbia, 1989] C+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

This Is Big Audio Dynamite [Columbia, 1985]
Because he sang both their pop hits, Mick was always slotted as the Clash's loverboy, but that was just his vocal cross to bear--he was really the intellectual, which is why he now specializes in what the handout calls "humor particularly irony." Though "A Party" and "The Bottom Line" are wordy enough for Ellen Foley, their anger would surface instantly if Joe were spitting them out. He might even make something of the Nippophobic "Sony" and the loverboy's lament "Stone Thames." But as it is, only "E = MC2," laid down across cosmic keyb chords, lives up to Jones's goofily internationalist spirit. B-

Megatop Phoenix [Columbia, 1989]
Forward-looking of Mick to devote himself to interracial rock-the-house. But strip away the samples and give the lyrics the respect they deserve and you're left with a mild voice over beats so dinky only college radio could dance to them. Plus a sweet pop song that isn't called "Feelings" because that title's taken. C+