Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
  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
  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:

Grizzly Bear/

  • Yellow House [Warp, 2006] Choice Cuts
  • Friend EP [Warp EP, 2007] Dud
  • Veckatimest [Warp, 2009] C+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Yellow House [Warp, 2006]
"On a Neck, on a Spit," "Reprise" Choice Cuts

Friend EP [Warp EP, 2007] Dud

Veckatimest [Warp, 2009]
Nomenclature niggle: not "chamber pop." Serving up two kinds of genteel escape, pastoral and aesthetic, this is chamber folk-rock--or, less kindly, folk-prog. From the Beach Boys on down, chamber pop is about tune and hook embellishment. These guys are in it for the atmosphere. There are vaguer lyrics out there, but the reason the band's claque is gaga for the line "We'll swim around like two dories" isn't how evocative the image is (it isn't, which should count for something), but the extra squeeze of choirboy tight-ass Daniel Rossen pretties it up with. Applied to the straightforward "Deep Blue Sea" on Dark Was the Night, their skilled playing remains modest enough, but on this subtler and more pretentious material, the skills predominate, and just in case they don't, let's add a string quartet here and real choirboys there. Plus, they still hum. Less than last time, but a lot. C+