Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Don Carlos and Gold [extended]

  • Raving Tonight [RAS, 1983] B
  • Just a Passing Change [RAS, 1984] B+

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Raving Tonight [RAS, 1983]
Like so many dread heartthrobs, this long-ago Black Uhuru co-founder loves Jah more than Woman, which whatever its limits sure beats hating Woman. In the hallowed reggae tradition, the melodies all seem to have been written by the same gifted five-year-old, who wins gold stars only for "Music Crave" and "Spread Out." But his way of taking off from a simple refrain gives reggae's religious impulse a musical dimension this unbeliever can feel in his soul, or whatever it is. B

Don Carlos: Just a Passing Change [RAS, 1984]
Although Carlos isn't as consistent as ranking romeo Gregory Isaacs, his peaks--the title tune, in which he glimpses Selassie's ghost from behind modest dub and haunting horns, and "I Just Can't Stop," in which he flees Babylon till the break of dawn--bliss out the way true spiritual pop should. They lift the gracefully ordinary tunes way up even if three generically anonymous closers drag side two back down. B+