Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Jim Carroll Band

  • Catholic Boy [Atco, 1980] B+
  • Dry Dreams [Atco, 1982] C+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Catholic Boy [Atco, 1980]
Two big differences between Jim and Patti--Patti has no jump shot and Jim's a boy. Hence the title, I know, 'cept women get away with this kind of fringe/decadent hero/survivor myth/boaster better than men--it's fresher for them, not such a line. Face it, Jim's a phony--a moral weakling who's been charming suckers ever since he ran away from home. And if that's not the end of it, well, charming suckers takes talent--a lot easier to get by tending bar. He's got a great eye, a great memory, great connections. He knows how to put himself across. And he wrote "People Who Died." B+

Dry Dreams [Atco, 1982]
Last time he was a poseur maudit who had something to say about excess and its excesses because he stuck to bohemia and kept things literal. This time a title song about his subconscious presages lines like "Flamingo blood melts down her lips." Call him pretentious, versifier--how about decadent? Any way you cut it, "People Who Died" was a one-shot. C+