Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Sarah Shook & the Disarmers

  • Sidelong [Bloodshot, 2017] B+
  • Years [Bloodshot, 2018] **

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Sidelong [Bloodshot, 2017]
Shook is a home-schooled ex-fundamentalist North Carolinan single mother raised in hardscrabble Rochester, New York. She disarms with self-caricature, exaggerating her drawl, her vibrato, her desolation, her drinking I hope, her "devil's book" and "mother-heart tattoo." She sings as a woman, a man, a who-can-tell; she rhymes "broken" with "Yoakam" and "buck up" with "fuck up." On my favorite track she deliberately gets too blotto to even consider driving to her ex's place. If only it was followed rather than preceded by the one where she plans to dry out tomorrow. B+

Years [Bloodshot, 2018]
If only she could light up the melancholy of "Good as Gold" with the dawning consciousness of "What It Takes," she might be able to figure out how to duck men's meanness without drinking herself into the ditch ("Parting Words," "Lesson") **