Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • Nothing to Fear [Big Dada EP, 2012] A-
  • . . . But Fear Itself [Big Dada EP, 2012] A-
  • We Will Not Harm You [Ninja Tune, 2013] ***

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Nothing to Fear [Big Dada EP, 2012]
There are four tracks on the summer-released half of a two-EP diptych that you can buy on overpriced and space-inefficient vinyl or download cheap and burn to a single CDR, forming a tidy 41-minute album, as the People of the Guitar used to call them. With a fancier printer than I've ever laid out for, you can even fashion a neat-o "mosaic" cover in living colour. As brave as his title, veteran Massive Attacker Dobie keeps the percussives jumpily uptempo on this panel, but never fear, the follow-up panel is slower and . . . A-

. . . But Fear Itself [Big Dada EP, 2012]
. . . lower, given to darkening suddenly like a December afternoon. Halfway through we find ourselves in a thriller flick--two adversaries striding amidst the crowd unnoticed as one tails the other through the atrium of a busy mall. Finally there's a human voice: "You know, he wants to get in and get out without even being noticed, except for the work that's gonna come out to the public in, you know, that Monday." And then a remix of the tailing music, which bears the appropriate title "The Mouse," leaves our story--what else? Unresolved. A-

We Will Not Harm You [Ninja Tune, 2013]
Subtler, which for those of us who seek cheap thrills from our let's-call-it-techno seldom means better ("Magenta," "Snap, Crackle & Pop") ***