Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  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
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:


  • Master of Puppets [Elektra, 1986] B-
  • . . . And Justice for All [Elektra, 1988] C+
  • Metallica [Elektra, 1991] Dud
  • Load [Elektra, 1996] C+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Master of Puppets [Elektra, 1986]
I feel at a generational disadvantage with this music not because my weary bones can't take its power and speed but because I was born too soon to have my dendrites rerouted by progressive radio. This band's momentum can be pretty impressive, and as with a lot of fast metal (as well as some sludge) they seem to have acceptable political motivations--antiwar, anticonformity, even anticoke, fine. But the revolutionary heroes I envisage aren't male chauvinists too inexperienced to know better; they don't have hair like Samson and pecs like Arnold Schwarzenegger. That's the image Metallica calls up, and I'm no more likely to invoke their strength of my own free will than I am The 1812 Overture's. B-

. . . And Justice for All [Elektra, 1988]
Problem isn't that it's more self-conscious than Master of Puppets, which is inevitable when your stock in trade is compositions not songs. Problem is that it goes on longer--which is also inevitable when your stock in trade is compositions not songs. Just ask Yes. C+

Metallica [Elektra, 1991] Dud

Load [Elektra, 1996]
One of the nice things about being old is that I'm neither wired to like metal nor tempted to fake it. Just as I figured, these here-come-the-new-heroes-same-as-the-old-heroes could no more make a "grunge" album than they could do double-entry bookkeeping. Grunge simply isn't their metier. So no matter what riff neatniks think, for outsiders this is just a metal record with less solo room, which is good because it concentrates their chops, and more singing, which isn't because they can't. C+