Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Colin Newman

  • A-Z [Beggars Banquet, 1980] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

A-Z [Beggars Banquet, 1980]
Projected and rejected as the fourth Wire album, it would have been the right step backwards--regressive only if you consider noise uncouth. Producer Mike Thorne's keyboards are indeed all over the place, but rather than laying down the trancy gloss of 154, they do what they can do to rub a body the wrong way, just like Newman's guitar. Leading me to suspect that the absent Graham Lewis is Wire's new-waving fifth columnist. Of course, Lewis also probably contributes the catchy stuff--where on Pink Flag you remember every allusively desperate little song, here you recognize the oblique, abrasive gestalt. And remember "B," which has no lyrics at all, every time its rousing climax comes around. B+