Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Linda Gail Lewis

  • International Affair [New Rose, 1991] A-

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

International Affair [New Rose, 1991]
The long-ago costar of the lowbrow gem Together registers more twang per syllable than prime Duane Eddy, belting and screeching like a flat-out hillbilly--Jeannie C. Riley, say. But though I'd love to hear her "Harper Valley P.T.A." (or "Fist City," or "9 to 5"), she's Jerry Lee's sister, wild-ass before she's anything else. She doesn't ignore country on this band-centered studio job, but except for Billy Swan's "I Can Help" ("If your child needs a mama we can discuss that too"), the standouts are from Wolf-Justman, Dave Edmunds, Bob Dylan, all of whom should be damn proud. Covering "They Called It Rock," she gets up to "Someone in the newspaper said it was shit," and instead of rushing discreetly on to the next line she draws out that last word with the relish of a gal who's waited to sing it all her life. A-