Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Meat Purveyors: All Relationships Are Doomed to Fail [Bloodshot, 2002]
One secret of their bluegrass stylings is that they're not virtuosos. Another is that they cover not only Ronee Blakley and Nick Lowe but Abba and Ratt and that their own songs measure up. Frontwoman Jo Walston sounds fragile, dissolute, determined, and mean in unpredictable combinations. She's never more winning than when warning a "little sister" who may or may not be her kin against guys who leave bruises on your arm, and come to think of it men in general are piss-poor, and didn't you like it better living with me anyway? A-