Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  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
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:


  • The Trials of Van Occupanther [Bella Union, 2007] C

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Trials of Van Occupanther [Bella Union, 2007]
The prestige of this conjunction of pomo prog, alt-country, fantasy fiction and video-game narrativity is the silliest proof yet of how jaded indie's tastebuds have become, with candied cannabis and lark's wings in aspic impending. Because Tim Smith has a sweet voice and a decent heart and his formerly psychedelic bandmates can negotiate moderately complex arrangements without twisting their ankles, this unfathomable concept album about loneliness on some olde frontier is compared to "classic rock"--Fleetwood Mac especially. Putting that band's eponymous rhythm section aside, one wonders just which of these songs might entrance the common folk like, for instance, "Go Your Own Way." Perhaps the first and catchiest, in which Smith as Occupanther laments that he isn't named Roscoe. There's a sentiment all can share. Roscoe Smith. We'll have this fellow playing da blooze yet. C