Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

New York Rocks [Koch, 2005]
Some might carp that this efficient little celebration of New York punk is both too obvious and too obscure. Ramones-Velvets-Patti Smith-Television-Richard Hell? Go for the albums, five unchallenged classics. The Mumps' "Crocodile Tears?" Why not the Contortions' "Contort Yourself"? Or anything by the New York Dolls? Nevertheless, the famous songs gather force back to back, and despite the Mumps, compiler Bill Crowley has mixed in some canny arcana. Mink DeVille-Dead Boys-Suicide? Skip the albums. All told, the disc evokes a scene worthy of that stupid term almost as well as closer Wayne (now Jayne) Country: "The kids are jumpin' around everybody's doin' loop-de-loop/Just makin' the rounds like a speed freak in a telephone booth." [Blender: 4]