Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • Desperate [Chrysalis, 1983] A-
  • What a Life! [Chrysalis, 1985] B
  • Temperamental [Chrysalis, 1988] B
  • Divinyls [Virgin, 1991] Choice Cuts
  • Essential Divinyls [Chrysalis, 1991] **

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Desperate [Chrysalis, 1983]
The voracious readymade chords of this Australian quintet aspire more to rock than to rock and roll, but when you think about it, so do Joan Jett's. Christina Amphlett plays a town slut who's moving up in the world of sexual--and emotional--obsession, like Iggy Pop with a heart as big--and needful--as his dick. And on the Easybeats' "Make You Happy" she gets to the infantile root. A-

What a Life! [Chrysalis, 1985]
With Mike Chapman the hooker, Christina Amphlett enters the race for Miss Bad Girl of 1986 and is fairly depressing for side one. After dumping a bucket of water on her head, she starts to play rough overdisc, but it's too late. Having once interrupted coitus by throwing my back out, I've never been convinced that the line between pleasure and pain was as thin as Mike and Christina claim. B

Temperamental [Chrysalis, 1988]
This is the genderfucked Sweet that Mike Chapman should have gotten out of Christina Amphlett last time, before Vic Maile and Girlschool beat them to it, but as with straight Sweet, the tunes pound by a little too evenly to change the world. "Dirty Love" will never besmirch CHR, and unless she gets lucky with "Hey Little Boy," a genderfucked cover the world's been waiting for since 1966, it could be three-strikes-she's-out for a dirt-eater who deserves better. B

Divinyls [Virgin, 1991]
"I Touch Myself" Choice Cuts

Essential Divinyls [Chrysalis, 1991]
desperately seeking Hitsville ("Hey Little Boy," "Don't You Go Walking") **