Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Meredith Monk

  • Dolmen Music [ECM, 1980] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Dolmen Music [ECM, 1980]
Monk has classical voice training, but I expect it was her folk and rock experience that taught her how to make these almost wordless songs sound so demotic, so literally unrefined--they obviously don't merely "express" emotion, but they don't merely distill it either. On record, the ostinato structures mean that the four shorter pieces composed between 1972 and 1975 come across better than the title work, which lasts 23:39 and features six voices with intermittent accompaniment. But anybody who wants to go further than Lora Logic and Pere Ubu will listen to it all. A-