Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Amy Allison: No Frills Friend [Diesel Only, 2003]
The Maudlin Years? Sad Girl? Here's where she gets really bereft. After declaring abject loneliness in the title tune--"If you want to take a walk downtown/I'd be happy just to move my legs around/We don't have to say a word, but then again/We could just make comments now and then"--she makes a principle of dashing her own hopes, song by song. The wanly jubilant "Baby, You're the One" leads directly to "What will we do when the money runs out?" "Don't String Me Along" generates "Say It Isn't So." "Dreaming's Killing Me," she knows it, only then it's "Thank God for the wine/That made me lose my mind" and also "loosened up his tongue." The finale is a love duet with her producer in which she proposes they "leave the world behind." It'll never work out. A-