Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Continental Drifters

  • Continental Drifters [Monkey Hill, 1994] *
  • Vermilion [Razor & Tie, 1999] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Continental Drifters [Monkey Hill, 1994]
two women singers/songwriters--why didn't the Band think of this after Robbie left? (wait, don't tell me) ("Get Over It," "Mixed Messages") *

Vermilion [Razor & Tie, 1999]
The lyrics resolve on home truisms, earned and learned but predictable nonetheless, just like the alt-pop songforms and country-rock groove. So Concerned Citizens Against Teenpop should note that this consistently expert supergroup material has a secret weapon, and it's not the ex-dB, the ex-Bangle, or the ex-Dream Syndicator. It's the ex-Cowsill, little Susan, who before she was 10 knew Top 40 fame on some awful songs and one for the books: "Indian Lake," which said more about vacations than was dreamt of in Connie Francis's philosophy. These days Susan sings with a flat generosity whose ever so slightly sour and serrated relation to pitch renders to the truisms their portion of truth while never suggesting that she doesn't enjoy getting away. A-