Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Go-Betweens: Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express [Big Time, 1986]
The lyrics, which set oblique but never opaque romantic vicissitudes against a diffidently implied existential world-historic, aren't the secret of their lyricism, and why should they be? These Aussies make music, with Robert Forster's intensely sincere vocals and Grant McLennan's assertive but never pushy hooks pinning down the melodies. Granting all reservations about the form itself and with apologies to skillful romantics from R.E.M. to XTC, there are no popsters writing stronger personal love songs. I doubt there are any page poets envisioning more plangently, either. A-