Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Dismemberment Plan: Uncanney Valley [Partisan, 2013]
Appreciated by old fans and dismissed by "critics," a word still loosely applied to anybody permitted to post music reviews on a website someone else runs, this reunion album means so much more than the average so-called comeback not just because Travis Morrison is smarter than most "critics" and possibly you and conceivably me, but on this evidence better balanced. He's happily married with a kid. He's not vaguely a punk anymore. His musical side will never consume him again. But he's still both a punchy lyricist and a guy who'll grab a good hook wherever one pokes out its business end. The centerpiece follows the grateful marriage song "Lookin'" with the cautionary parenthood song "Daddy Was a Real Good Dancer," a tribute that's also a pledge not to follow in Daddy's footsteps--first "He had me and then he threw his dancin' shoes away," then, if only Daddy was still around, "I'd hand him my baby girl/And play some rock and roll." A-