Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Jesus H. Christ and the Four Hornsmen of the Apocalypse: Happier Than You [, 2008]
Remember Lina Lamont in "Singin' in the Rain"? Imagine a woman who sings the way she talks--only she can carry a tune and use her brain. Most guys consider her affected, but therapy has taught her that that voice is just part of who she is, like her insecurities, and she copes with both. Mostly in the first person, she explores characters like the compulsively obliging half-Broadway chameleon she is, even a guy once. She's manipulative in "Back Burner Guy," desperate in "I'm Around," over it in "I Miss Your Arm," not actually over it in "I Hope You're Happy" post-celibate in "Dry Spell": "Suddenly she feels pretty/Suddenly she feels young/Suddenly her neighbor on the co-op board is not wrong." If you have a heart, you'll wish her the best. But if you're a guy, you may be a little chary of taking her on yourself. A-