Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Lifesavas

  • Spirit in Stone [Quannum Projects, 2003] A-
  • Gutterfly [Quannum Projects, 2007] **

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Spirit in Stone [Quannum Projects, 2003]
Words come first in even the best underground hip hop. This Oregon trio leads with a sound, less catholic than that of their teachers De La Soul but still plenty absorptive--jazzlike, with a fluid Jamaican under-current. Although the record would stop dead if beats didn't switch from song to song, the same bounce brands them all. Then come the rhymes, which are witty, humane, political, all that good underground stuff (also Christian, a virtue, and speaking of virtues, anti-obscurantist). In my favorite, Vursatyl fends off annoying visits from a braggart MC ("we're 30 deep and each member's a mutant combination of six animals"), only to realize the egomaniac is himself, and a good thing too--without his secret belief that he's the greatest rapper in the universe, he couldn't be a good one. A-

Gutterfly [Quannum Projects, 2007]
"Original soundtrack" to a theoretical blaxploitation movie, and less beaty for its pains ("Night Out," "Double Up"). **