Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Paul Carrack

  • Suburban Voodoo [Epic, 1982] B
  • The Carrack Collection [Chrysalis, 1988] B

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Suburban Voodoo [Epic, 1982]
These songs are catchy and apt ("Don't want no washed-up dishes soft-soaping me," eh?), and unlike his pop mentors in Squeeze (he was on board for East Side Story) and Noise to Go (bandmate Nick Lowe produced and helped compose), Carrack seems to Mean It--he's soulful in the manner of somebody like Allan Clarke (of the Hollies, how could you forget?). In fact, I bet his sincerity is the envy of his compulsively ironic co-workers. Unfortunately, it leaves me wondering whether he's a little simple-minded or a minor con man. B

The Carrack Collection [Chrysalis, 1988]
Compiling hits by Ace, Squeeze, Carlene Carter, and Mike and the Mechanics, all sung by the featured attraction, who recently earned the right to sell out under his own name. Nice songs, but in this context they reveal themselves as more fungible than anyone but Carrack's solicitor would prefer. Always wondered why his catchy Nick Lowe-style album, here mined for filler, never made an impression. B