Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Consumer Guide Album

Four Tops: Greatest Hits Vol. 2 [Motown, 1971]
If Levi Stubbs is one of the definitive soul men, as some believe, then what he defines is the pitfalls of the style. He's a singer who's more interested in impressing the deacons (and their wives) than feeling the spirit--overripe, self-involved, and in the end pretentious. And this material is far from his best--stuck with the low-grade rock gentility of "Walk Away Renee" and "If I Were a Carpenter" and the sermonizing of "What Is Man" and "In These Changing Times," he's a typical victim of Motown's decadence. Despite some good rhythm tracks--they always seem to get good rhythm tracks out there--the only one of these songs you'll remember fondly is "Just Seven Numbers," a simple-minded throwaway about swallowing your pride and making that call. C+