Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Spinners: Spinners [Atlantic, 1973]
Five hits make this soul album of the year, though it took me quite a while to get past Thom Bell's need to make everything smooth as a silk suit (never bothered me with the Stylistics because they were out-and-out silly, like a silk cardigan) and the lyrics' tendency to go nowhere after the hook (two by Yvette Davis are all but incoherent). In the end, it gets over on sheer melodic appeal and vocal beauty. Oddity: an exuberant big-band version of "Don't Let the Green Grass Fool You." A-