Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Robert Creeley: Really!! [Paris, 2007]
Creeley was a jazz-loving "New American Poet" whose readings never softened the abrupt line breaks of his economical, apolitical, intensely decent verse. A poor musical prospect, you'd think. Yet the subtle flourishes of Tin Huey/Tom Waits/Carneyball Johnson saxophonist-plus Ralph Carney sharpen these 1988 recordings decisively. You have to concentrate, and if I hadn't been a Creeley fan in my poetic youth I might not have bothered. Now I've taken Creeley's 1962 For Love off the shelf--and wish I could hear "The Way," "Sing Song," "Ballad of the Despairing Husband," and the list keeps getting longer. A-