Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Calle 13: Residente o Visitante [Norte, 2007]
Start here, partly to benefit from the online discussion this album has inspired over two years--cf. allthelyrics.com's takeout on the Rabelaisian "Uiyi Guaye"--but mostly to delve into sardonic sonics that hint at what Tom Z might have gone for if he'd come up on OutKast and Eminem instead of the Beatles and the Stones. From mock-operatic intro to mock-rock finale, the music is disruptive fun throughout. Latin-flavored yet light on salsa clav and reggaeton dembow, it sharpens the lyrics so that sometimes a single word can make you nod or smile while its context remains a mystery. A-