Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Scritti Politti: Songs to Remember [Rough Trade, 1982]
With the force of religious conversion, abrasive anarchist Green Gartside emerges as a pop-funk sweety-pie. Though he'd sing like Al Green if could, he settles for a gentle conversational tenor but tries too hard. The lyrics always bespeak literacy and sometimes deliver wit ("I was like an industry/Depressed and in decline"), as does the music, which shores up the out-of-pocket rhythms with tunes rather less often it undercuts them with dissonance. He's still in the deconstruction business, after all. The one that goes "My sincerity, my penicillin, my window, and my drudgery" is called "Jacques Derrida." B