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:

The Dirty Projectors

  • Rise Above [Dead Oceans, 2007] Dud
  • Bitte Orca [Domino, 2009] B+
  • Swing Lo Magellan [Domino, 2012] ***

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Rise Above [Dead Oceans, 2007] Dud

Bitte Orca [Domino, 2009]
Yale music major David Longstreth greets his well-distributed new label, in timing I'm sure is sheer coincidence, with nine striking songs that are recognizable as such. Not only will you hum snatches, you'll parse lyrical bits, too: a basement-dwelling twentysomething high on Gatorade in an underpopulated housing development, a waitressing job for Solange Knowles. Jumpy and off-kilter harmonically and structurally, such songs would have seemed more suitable to a concert hall than a rock club 10 years ago. But those were such crude times. Only a boor like me would wonder why the hocketing purity of the voices and the parts-not-grooves of the drums approach the music's user-friendly amenities from a higher plane. B+

Swing Lo Magellan [Domino, 2012]
Melodies you want to hear again for their shapes and harmonies alone, lyrics of discernible emotional import that include the cheerful verbal preset "that doesn't make any sense what you just said" ("Maybe That Was It," "Dance for You") ***