Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Kate Nash: Made of Bricks [Geffen, 2008]
A lot of these songs don't hold up when you hang in there for every word--not because they sink into metaphor, but the fellow citizen because their points are softer than you'd hope. In neither wit nor brass does she approach Lily Allen, who figured out that an ordinary girl sticking up for herself could be a template. Nor has she grown into the intricacy of the slightly older Jens Lekman, who did the same for an ordinary guy seeking love without being a sap about it. But Nash has staying power. Whether watching "CSI" or distinguishing pimples from freckles or enthusiastically pronouncing the full titles she feels obliged to render as "D---head" and "S--- Song," she remains a nice kid whose knowledge of her own limitations doesn't interfere with her self-respect. That's not just because the knowledge helps her make catchy music out of it, either. But the music helps. A-