Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Robert Christgau's Going Into the City

News

Expert Witness: Waxahatchee's Brilliant New Anger

New in Expert Witness:

  • Waxahatchee: Out in the Storm (Merge) A
  • Beth Ditto: Fake Sugar (Columbia) A-
  • Paramore: After Laughter (Fueled by Ramen) **
  • Valerie June: The Order of Time (Concord) *
  • Waxahatchee: Ivy Tripp (Merge) *
Expert Witness: 'The Bob's Burgers Music Album' as Avant-Garde Art

New in Expert Witness:

  • The Bob's Burgers Music Album (20th Century Fox/Sub Pop/Bento Box) A-
  • Howsla (Owsla) B+
  • Kill the Noise: Occult Classic (Owsla) ***
  • Brexit Blues (Riverboat) **
Expert Witness: Randy Newman's Album of the Year Contender

New in Expert Witness:

  • Randy Newman: Dark Matter (Nonesuch) A
  • Randy Newman: The Randy Newman Songbook Vol. 3 (Nonesuch) A-
  • Burnt Sugar: All You Zombies Dig the Luminosity (AvantGroidd) ***
  • Arto Lindsay: Ciudado Madame (Northern Spy) ***
  • Chaim Tannenbaum: Chaim Tannenbaum (Storysound) **
  • James Luther Dickinson: I'm Just Dead, I'm Not Gone: Lazarus Edition (Memphis International) **
Expert Witness: Old School Alt-Rap's New Dawn

New in Expert Witness:

  • The Perceptionists: Resolution (Mello Music) A-
  • Oddisee: The Iceberg (Mello Music) A-
  • Murs: Captain California (Strange Music, Inc.) ****
  • Brother Ali: All the Beauty in This Whole Life (Rhymesayers Entertainment) **
  • Public Enemy: Nothing Is Quick in the Desert (self-released) **
Expert Witness: Blondie and the Mountain Goats

New in Expert Witness:

  • Blondie: Pollinator (BMG) A-
  • The Mountain Goats: Goths (Merge) B+
  • Peter Perrett: How the West Was Won (Domino) B+
Expert Witness: Jay-Z's '4:44,' Vince Staples 'Big Fish Theory,' and More

New in Expert Witness:

  • Jay-Z: 4:44 (Roc Nation/UMG) A-
  • Vince Staples: Big Fish Theory (Def Jam) A-
  • Lil Wayne: In Tune We Trust (self-released) *
  • Young Thug: Beautiful Thugger Girls (Atlantic) *
Expert Witness: Lorde, Amber Coffman, and Bleachers

New in Expert Witness:

  • Amber Coffman: City of No Reply (Columbia) A-
  • Lorde: Melodrama (Lava/Republic) B+
  • Bleachers: Gone Now (RCA) ***
  • John Mayer: The Search for Everything (Columbia) **
  • Dirty Projectors: Dirty Projectors (Domino) *
Expert Witness: The Weird Worlds of Emperor X and MF Doom

New in Expert Witness:

  • Emperor X: Oversleepers International (Tiny Engines) A-
  • JJ Doom: Key to the Kuffs (Lex) A-
  • Emperor X: The Orlando Sentinel (self-released) B+
  • JJ Doom: Bookhead EP (Lex) B+
  • MF Doom Featuring Big Benn Klingon: Expektoration . . . Live (Gold Dust) **
  • Emperor X: Central Hug/Friendarmy/Fractal Dunes (self-released) *
Expert Witness:

New in Expert Witness:

  • Starlito & Don Trip: Step Brothers Three (Grind Hard LLC) A-
  • Kano: Made in the Manor (Parlophone) A-
  • Starlito & Don Trip: Step Brothers Two (self-released) ***
  • Kano: Method to the Maadness (Bigger Picture) **
  • Adamn Killa: I Am Adamn (Homespun Media Group) **
  • T-Pain & Lil Wayne: T-Wayne (self-released) **
  • Big Boi: Boomiverse (Epic) *
Expert Witness: Jason Isbell, Steve Earle, and a Flood of New Country

New in Expert Witness:

  • Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit: The Nashville Sound (Southeastern) A
  • Steve Earle: So You Wannabe an Outlaw (Warner Bros.) A-
  • North Mississippi Allstars: Prayer for Peace (Songs of the South) ***
  • Rodney Crowell: Close Ties (New West) ***
  • Gurf Morlix: The Soul and the Heal (Rootball) **
  • Colvin & Earle: Colvin & Earle (Fantasy) **
  • Willie Nelson: God's Problem Child (Legacy) *

Also new by Christgau:

Expert Witness: Thoughts on a Fucked Up Genius: Chuck Berry

New in Expert Witness:

  • Chuck Berry: Chuck (Dualtone) A-
  • Chuck Berry: The Definitive Collection (Geffen/Chess) A+
  • Low Cut Connie: Dirty Pictures (Part 1) (Contender) ***
  • Arkells: Morning Report (Last Gang) **
  • Todd Snider: Eastside Bulldog (Aimless/Thirty Tigers) *

The new book, Shake It Up: Great American Writing on Rock and Pop From Elvis to Jay Z, edited by Jonathan Lethem and Kevin Dettmar, includes essays by:

  • Robert Christgau: Prince
  • Carola Dibbell: The Slits Go Native
Expert Witness: Cloud Nothings, The xx, and Japandroids

New in Expert Witness:

  • Cloud Nothings: Life Without Sound (Carpark) A-
  • The xx: I See You (Young Turks) B+
  • Japandroids: Near to the Wild Heart of Life (Anti-) ***
  • Pinegrove: Cardinal (Run for Cover) **
  • Los Campesinos!: Sick Scenes (Wichita Recordings) *
Expert Witness: Wave of American Epics

New in Expert Witness:

  • American Epic: The Soundtrack (Legacy) A
  • The Rough Guide to Jug Band Blues (World Music Network) A
  • Mahalia Jackson: Moving On Up a Little Higher (Spirit Feel) B+
  • The Rough Guide to Gospel Blues (World Music Network) *
Expert Witness: Thrill-Chasing Daddy Issues and Punky Minimalists Girlpool

New in Expert Witness:

  • Daddy Issues: Can We Still Hang (Infinity Cat) A-
  • Daddy Issues: Deep Dream (Infinity Cat) A-
  • Girlpool: Powerplant (Anti-) B+
  • Hurray for the Riff Raff: Navigator (ATO) ***
  • Diet Cig: Swear I'm Good at This (Frenchkiss) **
  • I Am the Polish Army: My Old Man (self-released) *
Expert Witness: Movement and Polyrhythm in Africa

New in Expert Witness:

  • Les Amazones d'Afrique: République Amazone (RealWorld) A-
  • Oumou Sangaré: Mogoya (No Format) B+
  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Walking in the Footsteps of Our Fathers (self-released) ***
  • Ibibio Sound Machine: Uyai (Merge) **

Also new:

Expert Witness: Rap's Early 2017 Victory

New in Expert Witness:

  • Kendrick Lamar: Damn. (Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope) A-
  • Migos: Culture (QC/YRN/300) A-
  • Migos: Y.R.N. 2 (Young Rich Niggas 2) (self-released) ***
  • Future: Hendrxx (Epic) **
  • Future: Future (Epic) *

Also new:

There's also an interview with Christgau at Sp!ked Review.

Expert Witness: Brad Paisley Is Anti-War, Anti-Hater, and at His Best

New in Expert Witness:

  • Brad Paisley: Love and War (Arista) A
  • Angaleena Presley: Wrangled (Mining Light) A-
  • Sarah Shook & the Disarmers: Sidelong (Bloodshot) B+
Expert Witness: Ice T Spits Civil War, Matt North Sings Nashville, and Everyone Else Plays Chuck Berry

New in Expert Witness:

  • Body Count: Bloodlust (Century Media) A-
  • Matt North: Above Ground Fools (MattNorth.net) A-
  • Rock and Roll Music: The Songs of Chuck Berry (Ace) A-
  • Zeal & Ardor: Devil Is Fine (MVKA Music) A-
Expert Witness: American Teens, American Dreams

New in Expert Witness:

  • Khalid: American Teen (RCA) A
  • Kevin Abstract: American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story (Brockhampton) A-
  • Sampha: Process (Young Turks) **
  • Kingdom: Tears in the Club (Fade to Mind) *
Expert Witness: The New Pornographers Soar and Conor Oberst Grows Up

New in Expert Witness:

  • The New Pornographers: Whiteout Conditions (Collected Works/Concord) A
  • Conor Oberst: Salutations (Nonesuch) A-
  • The Shins: Heartworms (Columbia) ***
  • Spoon: Hot Thoughts (Matador) ***
  • The Old 97's: Graveyard Whistling (ATO) **

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