Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Azealia Banks: 1991 [Interscope EP, 2012]
Four tracks, 14 minutes of music, topped inevitably by "212" (and if you're not among the video's 20 million hits, succumb now). All of said songs top this eye-on-the-prize Harlemite's many other YouTube offerings, some of which might in turn sound dandy mixed into the mixtape and official album we are assured will soon-come. One might bitch about the chopped-and-screwed monologue that brings total time to 16 minutes, only it's funnier and more pointed than the Clyde Smith skits it bites from Ghostface. So I hope this is the dancey hip-hop Nicki Minaj's haters claim to miss and know full well it's too effing dancey for 'em--not to mention too virtuosic, beatwise, layered, less-is-more, and much. Quick-tongued, lascivious, catchy, and delighted with itself, there hasn't been a more pleasurable record all year and probably won't be--not even by her. A