Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Fatboy Slim: Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars [Astralwerks, 2000]
As someone who's about as intimate with modern dance music as the radio jocks and collegiate punters Slim accesses with such drunken disregard for subcultural niceties--and who believes house divas are only slightly smarter, popwise, than Slim's fellow sot Jim Morrison--I say this is where Norman Cook achieves the nonstop stupidity breakbeats alone could never bring him. One great idea per song, from anywhere--embellished, of course, with all the sonic tricks he's filched and made his own. "What duh fuck" muttered to infinity. A retox anthem whose time has come. Macy Gray B-in', C-in' and F-in' ya. And for that essential soupçon of soul: a Wet Willie sample! All shallow, all pure as a result--pure escape, pure delight, and, as the cavalcade of gospel postures at the end makes clear, pure spiritual yearning. Transcendence, we all want it. Good thing Cook knows most of us aren't deluded enough to want it all the time. A-