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:

Billy Ocean

  • Suddenly [Jive, 1984] C+
  • Greatest Hits [Arista, 1989] B

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Suddenly [Jive, 1984]
Jimmy Cliff he ain't, and Jimmy Cliff ain't all that much. But platinum-plus he is, and it's my considered guess that we'll be hearing more lilting, faintly West Indian tenors, the closest England comes to soul. C+

Greatest Hits [Arista, 1989]
All second-rate soul singers are creatures of their arrangements; what makes it harder to pin Billy down is that these days a lot of first-rate soul singers are also creatures of their arrangements. "When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going" and "Get Outta My Dreams Get Into My Car" not only hold the record for the most uses of a verb other than "love" in a great hit and its de facto follow-up, they're also a great hit and its de facto follow-up. Many other fast ones are quite OK. One of the "newly recorded hit singles" utilizes the Fresh Prince. Second-rate soul singers have to keep up with the times. B