Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Les Baxter

  • The Exotic Moods of Les Baxter [Capitol, 1996] C+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Exotic Moods of Les Baxter [Capitol, 1996]
Not so terrible, I caught myself thinking first time I played these imaginary soundtracks, and they're not--not by the standard of the early-'50s radio mush preserved on the companion Baxter's Best ("Unchained Melody," "I Love Paris," oy). Here, selections from Ritual of the Savage and its many successors exploit mallet instruments with some verve and tickle those nostalgic for their grandparents' fantasies of benign imperialism. But even in the same dubious vein, Esquivel has more razzmatazz and Martin Denny is crucially sparer. The strings and occasional brass are de trop enough--if you can abide the choruses doo-dooing and ahh-ahhing away, start monitoring your insulin levels. C+