Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

John Lennon: Imagine [Apple, 1971]
Primal goes pop--personal and useful. The title cut is both a hymn for the Movement and a love song for his wife, celebrating a Yokoism and a Marcusianism simultaneously, and "Gimme Some Truth" unites Lennon unmasked with the Lennon of Blunderland wordplay as it provides a rationale for "Jealous Guy," which doesn't need one, and "How Do You Sleep?," which may. "Oh Yoko!" is an instant folk song worthy of Rosie & the Originals and "I Don't Want to Be a Soldier" an instant folk extravaganza worthy of Phil Spector. "It's So Hard" is a blues. "Crippled Inside," with its "ironic" good-time ricky-tick, is folk-rock in disguise. And the psychotherapeutically lugubrious "How?" is a question mark. A