Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Modest Mouse: The Moon and Antarctica [Epic, 2000]
Production notwithstanding, the major-label move is the lyric sheet, which situates their circular minor-key riffs in a congruent worldview: eternal recurrence as infinite regress as cosmic bummer. Isaac Brock may be every bit the ass he claims, but basically he seems chagrined that he was ever so inept or unlucky as to get caught up in this, as the saying goes, downward spiral. And unlike other rock pessimists we might name, he's so modest about it that he ends up with an uplifting representation of human life as damn shame. A-