Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Low Cut Connie: Call Me Sylvia [, 2012]
Trying to make ends meet as the bar band of their dreams, they add muscle to their sound and lose a smidgen of edge in their writing. But that doesn't stop them from preserving 15 songs for posterity instead of the 10 they settled for on their equally self-financed debut. Adam Weiner shouldn't feel obliged to prove he's got big ballads in him, and "Cleveland" proves it. Right afterwards, fortunately, the final five tracks turn out to be where the edge takes over: two simultaneously lively and soulful Dan Finnemore love songs and three Weiner numbers, one stranger than the next and all redolent of a piano man's bar-band life. "Scoliosis in Secaucus" breaks up the love songs. The low-key voice-and-guitar envoi "Dreams Don't Come True" speaks for itself and Frank Sinatra. And done as a final-call blues, "(No More) Wet T-Shirt Contest" is Weiner's most twisted fable of the down-and-dirty life to date: "I feel like my Christian phase is comin'/My fans are gettin' pretty bored/But meanwhile I just keep on hummin'/Here in the bosom of the Lord." A-