Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

James Carr

  • Take Me to the Limit [Goldwax, 1991] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Take Me to the Limit [Goldwax, 1991]
Most of Carr's legend is in his voice, a great grave thing that doesn't so much interpret his best material as haunt it, and for as long as the songs on this album hold out the voice holds out too--even on the lighthearted "Sugar Shock." I think that's how it works, anyway--all I can swear is that somewhere around cut seven the proceedings thicken uncomfortably and then grind to a near-halt. Since the rest of Carr's legend revolves around his long periods of seclusion, I attributed the undistanced commitment of his rare, recent live show to the fact that he'd never sung his great songs into the ground. Having since located this record, I now suspect that some of those I thought I'd forgotten were new. "Take Me to the Limit" and "She's Already Gone" are squarely in the obsessive tradition of "Dark End of the Street," which belonged to him first. B+

See Also