Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Dells

  • The Dells [Cadet, 1973] B-
  • New Beginnings [ABC, 1978] B

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Dells [Cadet, 1973]
Vocal groupies and Chicago soul loyalists believe Don Davis has revitalized the old-timers on this album and its predecessor, Give Your Baby a Standing Ovation. I suppose he has. But the Dells are quintessential journeymen, and when Davis made quasi-neo-Temptations out of the Dramatics he wrote the songs himself. B-

New Beginnings [ABC, 1978]
Hard to get too interested in virtuoso harmonies expended on mediocre material, and like most vocal-group LPs, this is slow going at times. But it ends up quite impressive. Instead of resigning themselves to the oldies circuit--four of the five Dells have been together for twenty-five years, so they sure qualify--they've sought out new songs from a variety of sources, including two George Clinton-produced Parliaments classics. Wish they didn't figure it was modern to put only four on a side, though. B