Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

El Guincho: Alegranza [XL, 2008]
Raised by hippie environmentalists in the Canary Islands, Pablo Diaz-Reixa won a literary prize in Paris at 18 and moved to where else but Barcelona to write a novel, which he says sucked--"really creepy and bad." So without a hitch he turned to music, joining a band and making beats and composing soundtracks and then constructing, all by himself, a highly uncreepy album whose title is the name of a Canary Island as well as a Spanish word that suggests glee: a through-fabricated triumph of neo/pseudo communalism la Man Man, Animal Collective, even I'm From Barcelona. At a time when communalists worldwide regard America as a scourge, here's an internationalism with no rock in it. It's Buenos Aires' Gaby Kerpel without irony, maybe even Barcelona's Manu Chao without hooks--ecstatic yes, escapist no. A-