Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Fun Boy Three

  • The Fun Boy Three [Chrysalis, 1982] B
  • Waiting [Chrysalis, 1983] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Fun Boy Three [Chrysalis, 1982]
This spinoff stretches the Specials even thinner--so thin it's like a minimalist statement, as if chants and jingles were the music of the people. And though "The Lunatics" is the only track I'm hooked on (I sing it for anyone within earshot and sound like Robert Goulet by comparison), it might be novelty album of the year if all the others achieved the rudimentary, skeptical charm of "Faith, Hope and Charity" and "The Telephone Always Rings." B

Waiting [Chrysalis, 1983]
From "Our Lips Are Sealed," proof that a "definitive AOR version" (as the sticker calls it) can negotiate between cheery veneer and breast-beating bullshit, to "Well Fancy That!," proof that not everyone who has problems with "boy love" (as men call it) is as self-serving as Howard Smith, David Byrne's production suits songwriting that has advanced beyond the undernourishment of their breakaway debut. "Farmyard Connection" lays out the class inequities of herb production. Elsewhere they're not in love with love. B+