Here’s what music critic Robert Christgau had to say about Joni Mitchell’s Dog Eat Dog [Geffen, 1985]…
“When you peruse the lyrics, which are of course provided, the rage she directs at evangelists, racketeers, financiers, and so forth seems like the usual none-too-deep left-liberal modernism–a “culture in decline” enthralled by hedonism and rapacity and the image, tsk-tsk. But by taking her mind off her ever-loving self she’s broken a long drought. There’s no what-shall-I-do ennui in her singing; she isn’t musing, she’s telling us something, and her interest in these well-expressed middlebrow clichés comes through. Damned if I can tell just what Thomas Dolby has done for her jazzbo sound, but I suspect he helps as well. Maybe he convinced her it was pop music. B+”
My favorite Mitchell record, Hejira, also garnered a B+ fro Chritsgau. These two records couldn’t be farther apart to my ear. Dog Eat Dog was an ’80s synth nightmare (thanks Tom Dolby) while Hejira was an eye (and ear) opening masterpiece.
I guess that’s why I’m not a music critic. My grade? Giveaway bin.