Yesterday we ran a series of hilariously negative reviews of classic albums, and noted at the time that we could have cited several more from the inimitable Robert Christgau, a man who’s never been shy about putting his most controversial foot forward when it comes to music. Christgau’s hairy-chested prose, idiosyncratic tastes, and habit of reviewing himself rather than the album in question have often perplexed us, as has his Dean of American Rock Critics™ schtick. In view of this, after the jump, we’ve set out a selection of mystifying reviews — both good and bad — of notable records, and we’re asking you: which quote comes from an Amazon commenter, and which was penned by the man himself? The results, which you can find at the end of the post, may or may not surprise you.
David Bowie — Young Americans
1. “This is a failure. The tunes make (Lennon-McCartney’s) ‘Across the Universe’ sound like a melodic highlight, and although the amalgam of English hard rock and Philly soul is so thin it’s interesting, it often overwhelms David’s voice, which is even thinner.”
2. “It’s ironic that David Bowie refers to this album as his version of American soul. Like most of Bowie’s ‘innovations,’ this work is based upon the previous works of other artists. To paraphrase Mark Twain, his works are both good and original; but the original parts aren’t good — and the good parts aren’t original.”