Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Reputation: The Reputation [Initial, 2002]
First Elizabeth Elmore left a great band to go to law school. Now she leaves a great law school to start a better band, bringing a dark, intense fury to Sarge's runaway jangle. You'd think she'd be proud of herself, and from the way she talks you can tell she is. But is she happy about her accomplishments? Au contraire. Friends and lovers fall away on all sides, so that she would leave this town tonight if she could think where to go--not law school, damn it. One begins to wonder whether beneath her reasonable exterior lurk impossible demands. After all, when guys spend albums complaining about how nobody's good enough for them we figure they're trying to kid somebody. She goes out covering Elvis Costello, who is not my choice to replace Ann Landers. A-