Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Les Savy Fav: Let's Stay Friends [Frenchkiss, 2007]
Six years after their last "true" album, these much-bruited postpunk brutalists kick off with "Pots & Pans," a song about a much-disparaged band of that name that echoes the Archers of Loaf's Greatest of All Time--the subject of which was "the world's worst rock 'n' roll band." "Pots & Pans" concerns "bands that make you sick." It promises that, in contrast, "this band's a beating heart and it's nowhere near its end." And the album that follows puts its melody where its lyric is with the most recognizable set of songs they've ever begrudged their angular guitar bruit. Material's still angular, arranged in the finest postpunk fashion. But now you can hum it--and parse it. Sex riding bareback. Double-barreled homage to "1999" (the song) and 2001 (not the movie). Plague song. Death song--well, maybe death-of-love song. Death-of-love song sans ifs or buts. And finally, band-survival song. Dull climax, I agree. But by then, they've come again and again. A