Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Special AKA

  • In the Studio [Chrysalis, 1984] B+

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

In the Studio [Chrysalis, 1984]
There's miraculous rhythmic progress from the polkafied chug-along of the Specials' ska to the suave Caribbean lilt here, which makes Jerry Dammers's most reclusive flights functional. But Dammers (together with mouthpiece Stan Campbell) never convinces me that the anomie he evokes so stubbornly has the public dimension that its proximity to "Bright Lights," "Racist Friend," and "Free Nelson Mandela" implies. Not often that the political songs on an album seem most down-to-earth. B+