Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Motors

  • The Motors [Virgin, 1977] C
  • Approved by the Motors [Virgin, 1978] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Motors [Virgin, 1977]
Good label, good name, good image, even a reference from Ducks Deluxe, but beware--this is your basic homogenized bombast. The giveaway is the logo. Remember the Consumer Guide rule: never trust a group with a logo. C

Approved by the Motors [Virgin, 1978]
Last time, they essayed a commercial takeoff on punk, which they traced back to Grand Funk Railroad rather than the Stooges; this time (punk having been declared economically unsound by English bizzers), they have a go at power pop and come out sounding like the Foundations rather than the Small Faces. Since reformed pub rockers are more comfortable with cuteness than with power, this is an enormous improvement--"Airport" is as funny as any Nick Lowe genre piece and catchy enough to do jingle duty at Gatwick. Unfortunately, just to keep up their pseudo-punk credibility, they also include a equivocal celebration of sadism. I mean, fun is fun. B+