Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Creedence Clearwater Revival: Mardi Gras [Fantasy, 1972]
For a while I forgot my John Fogerty fixation and enjoyed side two of this country-rock debut, which is what asking Stu Cook and Doug Clifford to sing and compose transforms the seventh Creedence album into. But facts are facts. Only "Sweet Hitch-Hiker," an original as unambitious as the equally effecting cover of "Hello Mary Lou," could stand on any of Creedence's great albums. "Lookin' for a Reason" and "Someday Never Comes" may be major songs, but it's hard to tell from the way Fogerty sings them. And only inspired Fogerty vocals might save C&C's competent-plus to competent-minus filler from a lifetime in Lodi. B