Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Bobby Womack

Further Notes:

Subjects for Further Research [1970s]: Sam Cooke gave him a heritage and God gave him a voice. He had songwriting credentials ("It's All Over Now") and big ideas (Communication, Understanding, Facts of Life). He played guitar all over There's a Riot Goin' On. And from the sweet reason of "I Can Understand It" to the reggae remake of Chris Kenner's "Something You Got" he had plenty of moments. But I've never found an album of his I wanted to listen to--including the often disappointing Greatest Hits, which features his "Sweet Caroline" but not (there's still some justice) his "Close to You."

Distinctions Not Cost-Effective [1980s]: He's no poet and he don't know it.