Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Deerhunter: Halcyon Digest [4AD, 2010]
Smart young people have been telling me about this band since 2007, and I've been shrugging just as long. Give their big breakthrough a few plays and, unless you're the right kind of smart young person, you'll shrug too. Though you'll notice some tunes and also toward the end some committed tenor sax, and though there are those who praise its OK lyrics, it's still an arty indie-rock texturama. Only then give it more time than seems altogether fair and you'll find that this texturama has sufficient structure to assure that eventually the tunes and then the saxophone and then even the sound effects will signify and lift you up. Conceive it as DJ electronica that makes its point, starting all partial and halting before gathering itself to a properly modest climax. Except that it's played by a live band. And has OK lyrics. Smart, nothing--pretty darned intelligent. A-