Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Graham Parker: Heat Treatment [Mercury, 1976]
Parker doesn't just have the makings of a major artist, he is one. Because his more reflective and/or accusatory tendencies here show up his rather narrow timbral and melodic range, this isn't quite as engaging as Howlin Wind. Even the verve of the Rumour's arrangements and Parker's deft and pithy way with vernacular speech don't entirely redeem "Black Honey" or "Help Me Shake It." But the sound is a lot fuller, and the defiance in the face of social collapse more bracing as a result. A