Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Galaxie 500: On Fire [Rough Trade, 1989]
Who needs world-beat when indie darlings might as well be singing in Tagalog? I don't mean the words are physically or even semantically incomprehensible, either. Twinkies and decomposing trees and staring at the wall do break through the fog; motivated, I could probably construct a lyric sheet. But just like Lisandro Meza or Chaba Fadela, only not as well, what they produce for the curious outsider is a sound--halting, folk-psychedelic guitar signatures that establish each song's atmosphere. With George Harrison's "Isn't it a pity" the measure of their wisdom, verbal motivation isn't on the agenda. B