Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers

  • The Album [Atco/Music Factory, 1989] D

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Album [Atco/Music Factory, 1989]
These evildoers sample as if enacting a worst-case scenario for the copyright mafia--except that they pay for the privilege, which means the copyright mafia doesn't even suffer as a result. And they trivialize every stupefyingly obvious piece of music they touch. Little Richard to Everlys to Cochran to Elvis to Haley--it's like being stuck on a tight-playlist oldies station that's afraid you may get a new idea about one of its touchstones if you hear it all the way through. So for perversity's sake I got one anyway: the big-band components of these syndrummed pastiches demonstrate that the great rupture wasn't as precipitous as we thought--that '50s teens lindied to rock and roll because the music swung. Which is fine with the evildoers, who mean to convince the '50s generation (and anybody else who'll buy it) that Chuck and Elvis have advanced on the nostalgia scale--that they're now as safe as the music our parents liked. This is the opposite of recontextualization, which suggests new meanings in familiar (and not so familiar) music, thus recharging it. Somebody sue the motherfuckers for crimes against history. D