Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Speedboys

  • That's What I Like [I Like Mike, 1982] A-
  • Look What Love's Done to Me Now [I Like Mike, 1983] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

That's What I Like [I Like Mike, 1982]
Harking back to a time when pop and boogie weren't mutually exclusive, Robert Bobby recalls such unlikely influences as Dino Valenti, Roy A. Loney, Marty Balin, and George Gerdes on tunes that are neither speedy nor boyish enough for '80s cool. Cheerfully regressive in more ways than one, his gift for the pungent phrase is inspired mostly by the Colorado resident celebrated mostly by the Colorado resident celebrated in "Little Bit Nasty, Little Bit Nice." "My baby's mean as she can be/But she's only mean to me," he exults; "I knew something was cooking/When you took your matte knife to my back," he realizes; "Come on home and/Treat me wrong again," he pleads. Guitarist Bobby Blue Blake adds off-color chords. A-

Look What Love's Done to Me Now [I Like Mike, 1983]
I don't often wonder what the world is coming to because someone can't get a record contract--after all, life is unfair--but here I'm tempted. A sharp, witty bar-band-blues LP like the first is one thing, but the mid-tempo stuff on this entry could fit in right next to Tom Petty and Bob Seger if only some hotshot producer would oil Robert Bobby's voice up a little. That's no advantage as far as I'm concerned, but uncommercial it ain't. What could be the problem? Surely not the antinuke overtones of "Hearts Like Atoms Split." Maybe somebody noticed the chorus of "Anna": "Anna, anabolic steroid/Oh Anna, you made a man outta me." B+