Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Gilbert O'Sullivan

  • Himself [MAM, 1972] B
  • Back to Front [MAM, 1973] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Himself [MAM, 1972]
I admit I ignored this until the advent of the genius single "Alone Again (Naturally)," which I like best for the way its tossed-off structure matches its casual, crucial equation of filial and romantic affection. But I insist I was always intrigued by the idea of a singer-songwriter managed by the same godfather who brings us Tom Jones and Englebert Humperdinck. He's uneven, and he may turn into a major annoyance, but before that happens we ought to acknowledge that he's also a complete original. Persona: insecure lower middle-class Irishman with a screw loose. Message: it's normal to have a screw loose. Rhymes: "Nothing Rhymed." B

Back to Front [MAM, 1973]
He certainly hasn't turned into a major annoyance yet--the best more-or-less easy-listening record since the second Helen Reddy. B+

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