Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Angaleena Presley: American Middle Class [Slate Creek, 2014]
This moderately astonishing bunch of songs begins with a long series of homely oxymorons and a fable about not going to hell--both a bit overworked I think, both probably up front to deflect the hard news not quite specified by the title except insofar as it uses the C-word at all. Because as one track after another then bangs home, the middle class this coal miner's daughter knows from life is up against it. From the line at the grocery store to the life of last night's party taking the long way home in her high heels, nobody's quite getting by. "Dry County Blues" is about meth, "Pain Pills" about opioids, "Drunk" about that guitar player who made her an all too honest woman after she got "Knocked Up." Shit-shooting Pistol Annie Presley is grim and acerbic and kind all at once. And she sings pretty as you please. A