Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Sleater-Kinney: All Hands on the Bad One [Kill Rock Stars, 2000]
Locked into a visceral style and sound that always maximizes their considerable and highly specific gifts, they could no more make a bad album than the Rolling Stones in 1967. Unfortunately, that doesn't render them immune to the experiential droughts that afflict all touring musicians, or to the media-studies clichés they fall back into when they get hung up on the meaning of their careers. So everything that's right with the three-part synergy and herky-jerk dynamics of "Was It a Lie?" doesn't convince me that the media victim it bemoans died so vainly or so significantly, and in general I prefer these songs as songs when they adduce the musicians' separate lives rather then their collective mission. But play "You're No Rock n' Roll Fun" on your broadcast medium of choice and I'll whoop and holler like I'd requested it myself. A-