Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Skrillex

  • Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites [Big Beat/Atlantic EP, 2011] B+
  • Bangarang [Owsla/Big Beat/Atlantic, 2012] A-
  • Leaving [Owsla download EP, 2013] A-
  • Recess [Atlantic, 2014] **

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites [Big Beat/Atlantic EP, 2011]
Having blown his scream fronting drama kings From First to Last, Sonny Moore dialed it down, launching a solo career that has endeared him to Lady Gaga and the Black Eyes Peas. True, he does enjoy turning synthesizers into doom dybbuks and hiring chipmunks to sing "I want to kill everybody in the world." But he also gets winning girlpop out of a sprite named Penny. This EP could use the two new songs on the all too accurately entitled More Monsters and Sprites EP, and Moore should stop milking that woman who goes "Oh my God." But when he swears rock n' roll will take you to the mountain, he's being sincere. B+

Bangarang [Owsla/Big Beat/Atlantic, 2012]
"The most hated man in dubstep" therefore isn't "in" dubstep at all, which allowing for a few wannabes is fine by the rest of us who aren't in dubstep, meaning 99 percent if not 99.99 percent of music consumers. If you're too smart or knowledgeable for this young goof and his damn Grammys that Robyn wouldn't have won anyway, by all means enjoy your cool. I'm not. But I know this much. This is a pop record because its shamelessly hedonistic barrage of proven dancefloor tricks will obviously be more fun at home than in a club, where it would blare forth at quadruple volume to young jerks who'd get just as excited about LMFAO. A-

Leaving [Owsla download EP, 2013]
There aren't even three new songs on this for-fans-only EP--just two, totaling nine minutes, plus "Scary Bolly Dub," a reggae remix of "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites," already available X3 on the debut EP of the same name. But messing with songs is what he does, and until that "Oh my God" hook he found officially displaces Gary Glitter in the American heart, I say he should keep on messing. Nor are the new compositions screwed-and-chopped liver. "The Reason" subjects that potentially pleasurable human faculty to the sensory scrutiny it deserves. And "Leaving" promises the vulgar new vistas chill-out ambience deserves. A-

Recess [Atlantic, 2014]
No longer going for the jugular, he risks missing pencilnecks like yours truly altogether ("Try It Out [Neon Mix]," "Stranger") **