Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Pooh Sticks

  • Formula One Generation [Sympathy for the Record Industry, 1990] A-
  • The Great White Wonder [Sweet Virginia, 1991] A-
  • Million Seller [Zoo, 1993] *
  • Optimistic Fool [Seed, 1995] Neither

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Formula One Generation [Sympathy for the Record Industry, 1990]
A shambling prank-turned-tribute reminiscent in conceptual/critical complexity of Actually or Kangaroo?, and if you have no idea what I'm talking about you won't get it. The lead cut, about falling in love with a New Kid, begins with a dim sample from the Raspberries' "Overnight Sensation" and steals the melody of Duran Duran's "Rio." The tune after that was supposedly lifted from GG Allin. Very catchy, guys and gal. As a rock critic, I love the shit out of it. A-

The Great White Wonder [Sweet Virginia, 1991]
I don't approve of retro, never have. But when smart young things discover crappy old records like Frampton Comes Alive! and great old records like Rust Never Sleeps, it can be infectious. The grain of eager pop greed in Hue's Brit-wimp voice, augmented by the earnest craft that enables Paul to stick whole Neil Young solos (copied, not sampled) into borrowed Strangeloves songs, reestablishes the fading distinction between parody and celebration in order to transcend it at a higher level of consciousness--an unselfconscious one. It's even possible they want to be rich and famous. A-

Million Seller [Zoo, 1993]
irony-pop gone hermeneutic--with nothing to say ("That Was the Greatest Song," "Sugar Baby") *

Optimistic Fool [Seed, 1995] Neither