Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Robert Christgau's Going Into the City

News

Expert Witness: 'American Epic,' Americana, and an Epic

New in Expert Witness:

  • American Epic: The Collection (Lo-Max/Third Man/Columbia/Legacy) A
  • Celebrate Ornette (Song X) A-
  • Grateful Dead: Crimson White & Indigo (Rhino) ***
  • Van Morrison: . . . It's Too Late to Stop Now . . . Volumes II, III, IV & DVD (Legacy) **
  • Grateful Dead: Cornell 5/8/77 (Rhino) *
Expert Witness: The Blended Flavors of Two New West African Releases

New in Expert Witness:

  • The Rough Guide to the Music of West Africa (World Music Network) A
  • Trio da Kali & Kronos Quartet: Ladilikan (World Circuit) A-
  • Fanga/Maâlem Abdallah Guinéa: Fangnawa Experience (Strut) ***
  • Kondi Band: Salone (Strut) ***
  • Simo Lagnawi: The Gnawa Berber (Riverboat) **
  • The Rough Guide to African Blues (World Music Network) **

Some old pieces not previously mentioned here:

Expert Witness: Gogol Bordello's Search for a "Higher Self"

New in Expert Witness:

  • Gogol Bordello: Seekers and Finders (Cooking Vinyl) A-
  • Umphrey's McGee: Zonkey (Nothing Too Fancy) A-
  • Hard Working Americans: We're All in This Together (Melvin/Thirty Tigers) A-

Also new:

Expert Witness: Some Bright Australians and an Indie-Rocker's Upswing

New in Expert Witness:

  • Rolling Blackouts C.F.: Talk Tight (Sub Pop) A
  • Fred Thomas: Changer (Polyvinyl) A-
  • Rolling Blackouts C.F.: The French Press (Sub Pop) B+
  • Walter Martin: Arts & Leisure (Ile Flottante) ***
  • Walter Martin: My Kinda Music (Ile Flottante) **
  • Fred Thomas: All Are Saved (Polyvinyl) *
Expert Witness: Fat Tony's Realism and an Abundance of Mello Music

New in Expert Witness:

  • Fat Tony: MacGregor Park (self-released) A-
  • L'Orange & Jeremiah Jae: The Night Took Us in Like Family (Mello Music) A-
  • Stik Figa: Central Standard Time (Mello Music Group) **
  • L'Orange & Stik Figa: The City Under the City (Mello Music Group) **
  • L'Orange & Kool Keith: Time? Astonishing! (Mello Music Group) **
  • L'Orange & Mr. Lif: The Life and Death of Scenery (Mello Music Group) *
Expert Witness: Swet Shop Boys, Grime Luminaries, and a Reggae Newcomer

New in Expert Witness:

  • Swet Shop Boys: Cashmere (Customs) A-
  • Swet Shop Boys: Sufi La (Customs) A-
  • Wiley: Godfather (self-released) ***
  • Dizzee Rascal: Raskit (Dirtee Stank/Island) **
  • Wiley: 100% Publishing (Big Dada) **
  • Chronixx: Chronology (Virgin) **
Expert Witness: The Soul and Fury of Hamell on Trial and Algiers

New in Expert Witness:

  • Hamell on Trial: Tackle Box (New West) A
  • Algiers: The Underside of Power (Matador) A-
  • The Isley Brothers/Santana: Power of Peace (Legacy) ***
  • Amina Baraka & the Red Microphone (ESP-Disk) **
  • Garland Jeffreys: 14 Steps to Harlem (Luna Park) **
  • Living Colour: Shade (Megaforce) *

Robert Christgau contributed to both of these, after announcement that the Village Voice will no longer publish on paper:

Expert Witness: Waxahatchee's Brilliant New Anger

New in Expert Witness:

  • Waxahatchee: Out in the Storm (Merge) A
  • Beth Ditto: Fake Sugar (Virgin) 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) *

More Ancient

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