Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Ian Matthews

  • Tigers Will Survive [Vertigo, 1972] B-
  • Some Days You Eat the Bear, and Some Days the Bear Eats You [Elektra, 1974] C+

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Tigers Will Survive [Vertigo, 1972]
I know that Matthews (Fairport Convention, Matthews Southern Comfort) is one of the best acoustic-type performers around. I enjoy him at clubs. But they tell me that all the tunes on the record catch up to you, and after listening a dozen times I'm up to two--"Da Doo Ron Ron," which had a head start, and "The Only Dancer." B-

Some Days You Eat the Bear, and Some Days the Bear Eats You [Elektra, 1974]
This is Matthews's eighth album of the decade (fifth solo), and though people still tell me he's deserving, I think he epitomizes the homogeneity of the new (country-rock) schlock. If the proof of his acuity is his covers of such songs as "Propinquity" and "Blue Blue Day" and "Da Doo Ron Ron" and (on this LP) "Ol' 55" and "Dirty Work" and "Do I Still Figure in Your Life" and "I Don't Wanna Talk About It," the proof of his soft edges is that the originals are always more idiosyncratic. C+