Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Prodigy: Music for the Jilted Generation [Mute, 1995]
They acted so stupid when I caught them opening for Moby that I passed off their Mercury Prize as techno tokenism. Nor was I impressed by the failed ad campaign of a title, or the picture of a longhair defending the chasm between big bad city and vernal rave with a stiff finger and a big knife. But this is stupid in the very best way. The style of sensationalism is fireworks display--pinwheels and Roman candles and starbursts popping out of starbursts popping out of rockets midair. Sound effects too, of course--breaking glass is a favorite--and even ideas involving melody if not harmony, including a flute solo. One of the rare records that's damn near everything you want cheap music to be, and without a singer on the premises. A