Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Anthony Joseph: The Rich Are Only Defeated When Running for Their Lives [Heavenly Sweetness, 2021]
His title long ago devised and explained by Trinidadian C.L.R. James, his poetry right now powered and enriched by Anglo-Barbadian saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings and friends, nowhere on these six tracks is Anglo-Trinidadian poet Joseph more affecting or inspiring than delivering the Black-immigrant saga "Calling England Home." Other shards of autobiography enrich that strain. But given James's title Joseph is obliged to politicize as well, and he does so with a will as Guyanese soldiers reap "good U.S. currency" from Jonestown's killing fields and "Swing Praxis" delivers a clincher "in which considering the lack of a truly beautiful violent revolution we establish ourselves as mediums for change, change which must accumulate to maximum impact and speed like rhythm and rhythm is a unit of meaning of feeling of being." A-