Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Burton Cummings

  • Burton Cummings [Portrait, 1976] B
  • My Own Way to Rock [Portrait, 1977] C

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Burton Cummings [Portrait, 1976]
"Stand Tall" was a deserving hit that generated a great follow-up: "I'm Scared," the uncommitted prayer for faith of a skeptic who knows the religious tensions of a materialistic epoch firsthand. But when a slickie like Cummings turns rock crooner, credibility is a continuing problem, and while everything else on this honestly crafted solo debut is passable or better, the only other cut I'd call convincing is a big-band mock-up of former small-bandmate Randy Bachman. B

My Own Way to Rock [Portrait, 1977]
This transparent egoist has had a way with a song ever since the Guess Who days, but the hard rock moves always seem to bring out the sexism in him--a sexism especially repellent because it serves as an outlet not for forbidden class animosities but rather for the familiar old arrogance/self-hate. So it's gratifying that his way with a song should desert him this time. C