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:

Veda Hille

  • This Riot Life [Ape House, 2009] A-
  • Love Waves [Canadian Council of the Arts/Conseil des arts du Canada, 2016] **

Consumer Guide Reviews:

This Riot Life [Ape House, 2009]
With a dozen unheralded albums behind her, a piano-playing Vancouver theater composer bases an incomplete song cycle on her departed grandma's hymnal, records it with a chamber orchestra, and attracts funding from the Canada Council for the Arts and ex-XTC label head Andy Partridge. Yet the starchy smell of money getting into bed with gentility is overwhelmed by Hille's melodicism--if how persistently a song runs through your head is the test, my hook of the year award goes to "Book of Saints," its theme the refusal of martyrdom by Saints Agnes and Clare (and a damn fine theme it is). The tunes sag toward the end the way tunes do, and shame on Hille for sticking in that ringer from "Sexual Practices of the Japanese". But if you can imagine the McGarrigles belting, you'll have some sense of how strong Hille comes on. Although she's less acerbic than the Montrealers, she's no simp, and a Christian mostly by association. A-

Love Waves [Canadian Council of the Arts/Conseil des arts du Canada, 2016]
Vancouver melodist quotes Rilke, references Isherwood, reprises Gilbert & Sullivan, covers Bowie, covers Eno, insists M.F. stands for megafauna, and steals her best lines from her young son ("Burst," "Lover/Hater") **