Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Dawn Oberg: Rye [Blossom Theory, 2012]
There are breakup albums and then there's this: forties-ish woman, heavy of voice and keyboard with wit and juices lightly flowing, introduces herself as "The Girl Who Sleeps With Books" and regrets plenty while continuing to enjoy the title elixir, although it brings him to mind and that hurts. In a song that lasts 1:35 she hints at why, twice: "He likes to read Thucydides / But doesn't mock stupidities / He's probably read Euripides as well / But he's really not the type to read and tell." Midpart's more meditative, including straight advice directed straight to a stranger straight from the heart. Then the actual breakup tale--"No one was was vindictive, no one lied / Shagged the nanny or the pool boy on the side"--gets us to a celebration of her true love, which is San Francisco. "The bars are sexier than sex," she claims, and if it makes her feel better she should definitely think that. A