Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip: Angles [Strange Famous, 2008]
Declares big-bearded performance poet Pip: "I ain't riding the beat, it's the beat that's riding me." Take it or leave it. But Pip and his beatmaking partner, both denizens in good standing of London's working-class suburbs and record-store culture, are certainly more musical than the Streets, arguably more musical than Dizzee Rascal, and stick Art Brut in there too. As U.K. electro goes, they're varied stylistically and open-minded about hooks, and Pip's articulated Cockney has a lilt. More rhetorician than storyteller--most momentously on the bandname-checking Brit sensation "Thou Shalt Always Kill"--he distinguishes himself from yer average pop philosopher by having something to say. Try the suicide advisory "Magician's Assistant." Or "Letter From God to Man," which makes the Big Fella a "curator" rather than a "creator." Or "Tommy C," a definition of beauty that tells a comedian's life story, philosophically. A-