Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Amy Rigby: The Sugar Tree [Koch, 2000]
I know Rigby just well enough to worry whether her songs are worth what they cost her in frustration and heartache. But I admire the nakedness of her singing and writing enough to believe I'd feel the same even if mutual friends hadn't engineered a child chair exchange for us back when she was married. Now pursuing fortune and fame in Nashville like many lesser NYC songwriters before her, she shows no signs of turning into Janis Ian, and sexual preference has nothing to do with it--except insofar as men are dicks, of course. She has perspective on her lack of funds, her healthy sexual appetite, her susceptibility to ladies-love-outlaws syndrome, and her self-knowledge itself. Rode hard and put away wet, she's funny about it--"Cynically Yours" is made for an Alt-AC format that will never exist. And she's also touching about it, which is the hard part. A-