Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Dawn Oberg: Bring [Blossom Theory, 2015]
Oberg sings in an alto that doesn't actually go flat when it modulates way down as is its wont. Delivering nine expertly wrought songs in 27 minutes, she plays acoustic piano over G-B-D with jazz gestalt, zero-plus solos, and a beat more martial than swinging. The song to the God she doesn't believe in kind of rocks even so; the song about the seductive geometry of the martini glass devotes 30 seconds to chamber music. Male love objects are MIA, although she digs her bartender; three outspoken tracks praise female friends, only one of whom deserves to be as famous as she does. Figure Oberg really isn't "so good at loving anybody up close." But you and me are at just the right distance: "Want to help your dead ass fly away when you've had your last breath / Want to rip a new one in the mean angel of death / Want to crush all your despair I want to make you laugh / Want to make St. Peter testify on your behalf." A-