Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Missy Misdemeanor Elliott: Supa Dupa Fly [The Gold Mind, Inc./EastWest, 1997]
Like a lot of young black pop artists, Missy deals in aural aura rather than song, which means that even after you connect--as I did with "Izzy Izzy Ahh" well before "The Rain" hit MTV--she can take awhile to absorb. Innovative though it is, the video obscures the musical originality of "The Rain," its spacing and layering simultaneously sparer and busier than anything ordinarily allowed on the radio, and without Ann Peebles hooking you in, the rest of the album poses the same kind of congenial challenge. Sooner or later its pleasantness reveals itself as erotic--explicitly sexual enough to establish an atmosphere in which pleasure is something that happens simply and spontaneously between friendly free agents. There's no sense of conquest or surrender, humiliation or ecstasy or sin. It's summertime, and the living is easy. A-