Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Belly

  • Star [Sire/Reprise, 1993] Choice Cuts
  • King [Sire/Reprise, 1995] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Star [Sire/Reprise, 1993]
"Slow Dog"; "Feed the Tree" Choice Cuts

King [Sire/Reprise, 1995]
Pigeonholing Belly as another pop band is a fatuity if not an insult. The signature shape of these songs for two guitars, bass, and drums--apparently aimless prologue veering into stronger, squarer verse and then, when all goes well, slamming home on a fast, hooky chorus that rings your chimes later than the usual paydirt--duplicates nobody else's. Just as decisive is the bemused contour of Tanya Donelly's voice--slanted and enchanted, as some clever soul put it. And if the lyrics are a little soft, they're tailored to the mystofemme aura she naturalizes so modestly. Anyway, they're also generous. Not to mention nicely rounded. A-