Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Eek-A-Mouse

  • The Mouse and the Man [Greensleeves, 1983] A-
  • Assassinator [RAS, 1983] B+
  • Mouseketeer [Greensleeves, 1984] B+
  • U-Neek [Peace Posse, 1991] Neither
  • The Very Best of Eek-a-Mouse Vol. 2 [Shanachie, 2003] ***

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Mouse and the Man [Greensleeves, 1983]
Neither of this JA original's previous albums evinced much poetry, but the material here is as eccentric, matter-of-fact, and casually associative as his dub-minimalist music and calmly wacko vocal mannerisms. Beginning with an account of Hitler--"This is history and remember this ain't no joke"--and moving on to mix lesser horrors (death occurs in three of the remaining nine songs) with happier reflections, he comes across deeply compassionate, deeply bemused, and perhaps not as modest as you'd first think. Inspirational Verse: "Some of the them may call you a turkey/Some look on you and say you flaky." A-

Assassinator [RAS, 1983]
What kind of artist interprets the legend of Tarzan to the tune of "Wimoweh" immediately after outlining his "Triple Love" life just so he can revel in "en" rhymes("ten," "den,", "lend," "bend," "them," "Ardenne," "Hughenden," "Gwen," "Jen," "Karen," "they even make love with my best friend Ken," and of course the literal nonsense "lah-den")? A major eccentric who makes most of those who cultivate that image look like self-serving twits, that's who. Also an eccentric whose first three songs here start with death by gunfire. B+

Mouseketeer [Greensleeves, 1984]
Prolific and then some, he's a little less consistent on this album than on its immediate competitor, and since there are no printed lyrics I'll probably never know what the anorexic was doing at Reggae Sunsplash. But the hot pressing and dubbed-up Henry Junjo Lawes production do compensate for his tendency to set all his songpoems to the same melody, leading off with his account of Queen Elizabeth's unscheduled audience and climaxing with an explanation (?) of how he got his name betting the horses. B+

U-Neek [Peace Posse, 1991] Neither

The Very Best of Eek-a-Mouse Vol. 2 [Shanachie, 2003]
approximating the strangeness of the world with falsettos high and low, instrumental nonsense syllables, and always the same slow skank ("Border Patrol," "The Mouse and the Man") ***