Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Colin Blunstone/Rod Argent: The Zombies

  • As Far as I Can See . . . [Rhino, 2004] C-

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As Far as I Can See . . . [Rhino, 2004]
"In you I found my Odyssey and Oracle," Rod's lyric sheet has Colin emoting, cashing in their long unjustly obscure, now unjustly classic post-breakup album while correcting for the youthful foolishness that makes it sing--in 1968 they ignorantly or pretentiously spelled it "Odessey." Where that one was suffused in preemptive nostalgia, this one is soggy with denial. It's full of better ways and flights into the sun, fresh starts on the south side and lives changed by the magic of Memphis (Egypt). Mortality casts its shadow--the April death of bassist Paul Atkinson is all over their longing for renewal. But the dull language deflects death's sting, and the music is craven crap that would have appalled them at 14 or 24--schlock orchestrations, socko choruses, showtime overstatements bound for the casino circuit. It's fine, maybe even essential, to assert your vitality as an old man. But imitating the old men you remember from boyhood is an ass-backwards way of doing it. C-