Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Sarge: Distant [Mud, 2000]
The indie circuit's no life for a girl who's been accepted at law school and wants the kind of relationships that are wrecked by the separations her lyrics dissect. So after four years, Elizabeth Elmore broke up a band that contained no other original members, and this is their testament: three new Elmore songs that could break your heart waiting for more, three goofy covers, two sketchy closers, and a patched-together club set of six songs, five of which sound brighter on 1998's The Glass Intact. Overall, for fans and collectors, I guess--only I'm not so sure this isn't the one I'll play. My favorite moment is on the live solo-acoustic "The First Morning," where dimmer doesn't mean less affecting. "Bye guys--miss you," she offers after the cheers, and comes this close to sobbing, wondering how she'll do without the only relationship the road is good for. A-