Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Village People

  • Macho Man [Casablanca, 1978] C
  • Cruisin' [Casablanca, 1978] B+
  • Go West [Casablanca, 1979] B-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Macho Man [Casablanca, 1978]
Watch out, Ted Nugent, or these you-know-whats (I'm sure I don't) are gonna knock you off the cover of Creem. You're not the only one who can make up stories about eating it raw. C

Cruisin' [Casablanca, 1978]
I give up--I've never been capable of resisting music this silly. At least this time they're not singing the praises of "macho," a term whose backlash resurgence is no laughing matter, and the gay stereotyping--right down to "The Women," every one a camp heroine of screen or disc--is so cartoonish that I can't imagine anyone taking it seriously. As for all the straights who think "Y.M.C.A." is about playing basketball, well, that's pretty funny too. But what happens when Victor Willis follows Teddy Pendergrass into sololand and reveals the wife and 2.4 kids in the closet? B+

Go West [Casablanca, 1979]
At first I dismissed this as market fatigue--it's hard to act like you're still discovering your formula on your fourth album in twenty-one months. With no help from a peaked-sounding Victor Willis--shouters should avoid even the appearance of laryngitis--it came off as a tuneless disco tribute to John Philip Sousa that omitted the "Stars and Stripes Forever" cover only because Jacques Morali doesn't control Sousa's publishing. But now I kind of enjoy it. Cruisin' was dumb, and this is an advance--a quantum leap in dumbness, without even risque puns to distract from Victor's metronomic cries. Although I have my doubts about this "skin-diving" stuff myself. B-