Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Silver Jews

  • Arizona Record [Drag City, 1993] Dud
  • The Natural Bridge [Drag City, 1996] Neither
  • American Water [Drag City, 1998] *
  • Tanglewood Numbers [Drag City, 2005] B+
  • Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea [Drag City, 2008] ***

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Arizona Record [Drag City, 1993] Dud

The Natural Bridge [Drag City, 1996] Neither

American Water [Drag City, 1998]
Noise-tune simplified for baritone monotone ("Random Rules," "Night Society"). *

Tanglewood Numbers [Drag City, 2005]
David Berman joins a pickup band that includes his close personal friend Stephen Malkmus to explore realms of vocal inexpressiveness undreamt by Stephin Merritt or the Handsome Family. The music rocks very very steady with femme backup counteracting occasional Pavementy noises, and the lyrics, Berman's specialty, devote equal time to the animal kingdom, which permits him to wax whimsical if not vegetarian, and the dark burden of love, which inspires even more steadiness, in this case welcome. B+

Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea [Drag City, 2008]
Philosophical fictions and fantasias by a stolid-sounding guy who wishes everyone would play his songs ("San Francisco B.C.," "Aloysius, Bluegrass Drummer"). ***