Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Clem Snide: The Ghost of Fashion [SpinArt, 2001]
The music is conceived songs first, an epidemic problem in current rock and roll. especially rock and roll as putative as this. And since Eef Barzelay adds the usual enigmatic tendencies to a voice worthy of an accountant in a Presbyterian choir (in Dubuque), its popular potential is limited. Nevertheless, the band now sounds both more rock and roll (faster tempos, straighter propulsion) and more chamber music (louder cello, weirder lap steel), and more is what Eef's somber tunes and noncommital wit inspired hope for last time. Metaphorical materials include ice cubes, Jewish junkies, Elvis's twin, a driving test, and a Joan Jett of Arc who burns her bridges in front of her and her steak at the Sizzler. A-