Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Amazing Rhythm Aces

  • Stacked Deck [ABC, 1975] A-
  • Too Stuffed to Jump [ABC, 1976] B-
  • Burning the Ballroom Down [ABC, 1977] B-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Stacked Deck [ABC, 1975]
If you wanted to be stuffy about it, you could complain that Russell Smith's line about "two lovely lesbian ladies slow-dancin' on a parquet floor" is condescending, but I'll settle. There's enough natural hip here to last most Southern boogie bands a career, with the added attraction that this isn't a Southern boogie band, not hardly, despite the Memphis locus and blues inflections. Some of them worked with Jesse Winchester, but his magnolia rue didn't rub off either. Just something else new under the sun. A-

Too Stuffed to Jump [ABC, 1976]
The jazzy, boogie-based eclecticism and colloquial cleverness almost never transcend the cute and commercial, a major letdown after a debut album that may have fulfilled more promise than the group has. B-

Burning the Ballroom Down [ABC, 1977]
Just figured out why I've always been attracted to Russell Smith's sly, sincere songs and lethargic though hardly shiftless phrasing--he's a kind of laid-back Ronnie Van Zant. Which must be why I don't like him as much as I liked Ronnie Van Zant. B-