Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Popinjays

  • Flying Down to Mono Valley [Epic/One Little Indian, 1992] A-
  • Tales from the Urban Prairie [One Little Indian, 1994] Dud

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Flying Down to Mono Valley [Epic/One Little Indian, 1992]
Not grrrls, not gurls--girls, as in, "There were three girls in the band, and we kind of got labeled as this fluffy, pink, girly-pop, lightweight throwaway stuff." They're "not airheads" either, right, but they do want to fit in; although "Mono" is literally a lake in California and does evoke "monophonic," it could also be short for "monogamy," the root subject of every one of these sometimes rockin', sometimes dreamy tunes. Funny thing is, the only time things work out is on the obscure Mama Cass/Mann & Weil cover "It's Getting Better." Otherwise these are tales of everyday betrayal--of being manipulated, saying the wrong thing, falling short of his expectations. All so sweet and final you wonder why they bother, and won't be surprised when they give up. Inspirational Verse: "Too transparent foolish me/I showed you more than you could see." A-

Tales from the Urban Prairie [One Little Indian, 1994] Dud

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