Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • Balance [Coup d'État, 2003] A-
  • Built to Last [Playaktion, 2014] **

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Balance [Coup d'État, 2003]
His name guest is Mr. Lif, and if that doesn't convince you this stand-up Bostonian doesn't have a clue, soon he's boasting about the "balance" he maintains between rappers who "got too many big words" and those who "bust too many slugs." Whether as vocabulary in the rathskeller or jewelry in the video, bigger is better, right? Sanity, clarity, sharp wits, efficient beats--where's the market? But just in case you're dull enough to get a buzz off articulated normality, note that he has good sexual politics, good cultural politics, and good political politics without getting preachy about any of them, and that after two plays you'll remember every hook. Right, hook. A-

Built to Last [Playaktion, 2014]
Nice guy almost dies, lives to rap about it ("Alive," "Let's Keep It Goin'") **