Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

John Hiatt: All of a Sudden [Geffen, 1982]
Carpers have always claimed there was nothing underneath his gift for the hook, and now that Hiatt's finally gotten his big shot, on David G.'s label with David B.'s producer, he seems intent on proving it. Median cut length is up from 2:55 (on 1979's Slug Line) to 3:31, Tony Visconti has dehumanized Hiatt's uncommercial voice with filters that make him sound like a Hoosier Steve Strange, and even his cover photo has been reduced to benday dots. The veteran up-and-comer as overblown cynic. B-