Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Automato: Automato [Coup de Grâce, 2004]
A hip-hop band, only not funky like Stetsasonic and the Roots. Or then again, a rap-rock band, only not heavy like Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park. White, I assume--I'm positive about the rapper, who I met before he became an alienated teenager, and Jewish names predominate among his bandmates. The DFA production is enhancement only--the music is Automato's. Less accomplished and sensational than the Rapture's, it's a lot trippier when it comes together and also when it threatens to jump the tracks, both of which happen plenty. Usually the chapstick-packing rapper figures out what to do with it, too. "All I ever wanted was truth, peace, harmony, and anti-gravitational boots," he confides, only then: "Truth is a bitch when you're living in sin." So be glad he got the boots. A-