Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Dandy Warhols: Welcome to the Monkey House [Capitol, 2003]
MTV babies say this is the Dandys' early-'80s record, and who am I to demur? Someone who was too busy back then with X and juju and Grandmaster Flash to internalize whatever musical materials the band has purloined, and who would prefer said materials in this context even if I had. Better Nick Rhodes producing alt sellouts than Nick Rhodes claiming alt himself, and better alt sellouts embracing electropop detachment than alt sellouts aping rock and roll abandon. Clever and droll but also hypnotic and mysterious, with odd noises buried in the luscious mix and Zia McCabe's keyb bass as pleasurable as any explicit hook, they make their big statement in "Plan A," which goes "All of us sing about it" for quite a long while before positing first a planet and then a message that aren't there. A-