Robert Christgau on the new Bob Marley biography, the man's myth, legend, godhood and discography:
"Marley's big Kingston concerts didn't prevent Jamaica from turning into the most gun-ridden state in the western hemisphere. Lee "Scratch" Perry relocated to Switzerland. The Maskani district has been plowed under to make room for a bank. And reggae has evolved into a beat-dominated music of crotch-first sexism and toxic homophobia that's far livelier than the Bob-worshipping hippie and Afrocentric crap that surfaces wherever spliffs are smoked or tourists go dancing. In short, Bob Marley has yet to remake the world—a failing he shares with just about everyone else who's tried. But that doesn't mean he hasn't changed it. Gandhi and King and Mandela didn't leave utopias behind either, and unlike them, Marley was merely a musician no matter how much praise he proffered Jah. His music is as firmly ensconced in the pop pantheon as the Beatles' or James Brown's, and it signifies a remade world even if that doesn't make it so."
Don't you wish you could smoke people with that sorta prose? Swift! Astute! No play for the bullshit!Posted by jessica hopper at June 29, 2010 11:42 PM | TrackBack