Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Rolling Stones: Love You Live [Rolling Stones, 1977]
As a Stones loyalist, I am distressed to report that this documents the Stones' suspected deterioration as a live band, a deterioration epitomized by the accelerating affectation of Mick's vocals. Once his slurs teased, made jokes, held out double meanings; now his refusal to pronounce final dentals--the "good" and "should" of "Brown Sugar," for example--convey bored, arrogant laziness, as if he can't be bothered hoisting his tongue to the roof of his mouth. His "oo-oo-oo"s and "awri-i"s are self-parody without humor. This is clearly a professional entertainer doing a job that just doesn't get him off the way it once did, a job that gets harder every time out. C+