Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Buck 65: 20 Odd Years [WEA, 2011]
Beholden to nobody's scene or purist myths, the Halifax-spawned, Toronto-based, Paris-savvy cult rapper makes beats his way--drum tracks of course, this is hip-hop like it or not, but with whatever on top, which here comes down to mostly female collaborators whose sonics subsume their considerable verbal input. Plus on two standouts 65 goes it alone: the opening "Superstars Don't Love," which leads with a fearless three-syllable Jay-Z impression, and "Zombie Delight," putrefaction taffy finished off with the glorious couplet: "There's very little information and no answers./One weird thing is that they're excellent dancers!" He also covers the seminal Canadian rapper L. Cohen and finds a use for compatriot Gord Downie. Um, of the Tragically Hip? A-