Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Dirty Projectors

  • Rise Above [Dead Oceans, 2007] Dud
  • Bitte Orca [Domino, 2009] B+
  • Swing Lo Magellan [Domino, 2012] ***
  • Dirty Projectors [Domino, 2017] *

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") ***

Dirty Projectors [Domino, 2017]
His ex's breakaway isn't the breakup album--his is, replete with pained, painful songs whose truth he owns for better or worse ("Up in Hudson," "Winner Take Nothing") *