Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Can Music Be Perfect? Vol. 3

One of my favorite reviews from my favorite pop music critic, Robert Christgau, was his A+ review of DeBarge's In a Special Way:
I know of no pop music more shameless in its pursuit of pure beauty--not emotional (much less intellectual) expression, just voices joining for their own sweet sake, with the subtle Latinized rhythms (like the close harmonies themselves) working to soften odd melodic shapes and strengthen the music's weave. High energy doesn't always manifest itself as speed and volume--sometimes it gets winnowed down to its essence.
Of course, very rarely you get the deepest expression and the purest beauty all at the same time--Louis Armstrong comes to mind. I am unwilling to claim that Andy Bey approaches that exalted level. But when it comes to high energy in the service of shameless beauty, hiding itself behind suave and smooth, I put American Song right up there.

No comments:

Post a Comment