Although it's a solid recapitulation, in order, of all of the singles Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine released through 1995's Worry Bomb, there's something kind of unsatisfying about Straw Donkey. Part of it is that the duo's singles were not necessarily its best songs (although the group's two highest points, "Sheriff Fatman" and "The Only Living Boy in New Cross," are both duly accounted for), but the real reason is that the joy of Carter's albums is in their utter relentlessness. Listening to 1992: The Love Album or 101 Damnations is, in the best possible sense, a mildly exhausting adventure, like a drunken evening out with your best mate who declaims at the top of his lungs with a wicked sense of humor and a caustic eye for pretension and mendacity in popular culture. There are flashes of that same keen wit all over Straw Donkey, but the totality of the albums is missed. This is a useful intro for the newcomer, but fans might feel slightly disappointed.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason