Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Box Tops

  • Dimensions [Bell, 1969] B
  • The Best of the Box Tops: Soul Deep [Arista, 1996] ***

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Dimensions [Bell, 1969]
My weakness for lead singer Alex Chilton is admitted, but this really is the group's best album, a goldmine of ambiguities for nascent producer theorists. I have to grant that Chilton's "I Shall Be Released" isn't up to Cocker, Makeba, Simone, or the Band, but that the group should do it at all, as a single, yet . . . Also, dig "Midnight Angel." Charged a notch because Bell didn't even bother to list Chilton, much less provide us with the names of the studio musicians who impersonate the group on those sessions. B

The Best of the Box Tops: Soul Deep [Arista, 1996]
Alex Chilton's first vehicle went deeper than "The Letter" and "Cry Like a Baby," but I won't fib about how deep until "You Keep Me Hangin' On" makes CD ("I Met Her in Church," "Choo Choo Train"). ***