Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Isis

  • Isis [Buddah, 1974] D
  • Ain't No Backin' Up Now [Buddah, 1975] B

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Isis [Buddah, 1974]
In which a band of women prove they can play as schlocky as the Brooklyn Bridge, only worse (no Johnny Maestro). Sad pretensions, off-key vibrato that offends even a proud tin-ear like myself, and Shadow Morton at his heavy worst. I used to be sad that the Shangri-Las broke up, but now I'm not, because this is probably what they would have become. D

Ain't No Backin' Up Now [Buddah, 1975]
On their Shadow Morton-produced debut this brassy ten-woman ensemble sounded like a cross between Vanilla Fudge and the Mount St. Mary's College Lab Band, but here Allen Toussaint's horn arrangements cut a channel for their melodrama. As is usual on Toussaint albums, the side that features his songs is a lot stronger than the side that features the band's. Now if only he could describe lesbian life as knowledgeably as Carol MacDonald in "Bobbie and Maria" or Jeanie Fineberger in "Eat the Root." But that would be a lot to ask. B