Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Born to Choose [Rykodisc, 1993]
Granting the thematic animus of the Mekons' brazen "Born To Choose" and Soundgarden's ball-busting "HIV Baby," this charity comp has less in common with No Alternative than with A Very Special Christmas. The secret is consistency: quality artists (11 of the 12 have finished Pazz & Jop top 50, six top 10) doing quality material (perceptive enough to get involved, they cared enough to do it right). Kudos, then, to organizers Craig Marks and Karen Glauber, both of whom happen to be journalists--even, dare I say it, rock critics. Inspirational Verse, from John Lennon via Matthew Sweet: "She said/I know what it's like to be dead." A-