Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Joseph Byrd

  • Yankee Transcendoodle [Takoma, 1976] B

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Yankee Transcendoodle [Takoma, 1976]
Subtitle: "Electronic Fantasies for Patriotic Synthesizer." Further description by artist: "This album is a series of aural and spatial fantasies evoking the spirit of American patriotic music." I quote because I can't think of a way to say it better myself, a symptom of my failure to connect with these great old tunes despite my admiration for both the pride and humor of the concept and the confidence of the execution. The abstractness here may be appropriate--is appropriate--but that doesn't mean it isn't alienating. All lovers of American music should try to hear this record. But not even the "Internationale," which Byrd managed to sneak in somehow, moves me to wave the flag for it. B