Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Perceptionists: Resolution [Mello Music, 2017]
On their 2005 debut, quick, clear, literate, Boston-based, Bajan-American rappers Mr. Lif and Akrobatik sounded more musical trading timbres as a duo than holding forth on their worthy solo albums--little guy Lif clipped and cool and pitched deeper, Akrobatik the good-natured jock. A dozen years later, as 42-year-olds who've each survived a brush with non-gangsta death--Akrobatik from an aortic aneurysm, Mr. Lif in a tour bus gone over a cliff--they lead their belated follow-up with three tracks that drop more political science than any TrumpTime hip-hop to date: Big Pharma and body armor, tax laws and proportional representation, racial solidarity and cross-racial solidarity, "treason" in a "world out of control." Given that Lif was criticizing Obama's monetary policies in 2009, this is no surprise. But it's certainly satisfying. Not everything that follows is so right on. But in a kind of compensation, "When Push Comes to Shove" radiates more love than "4:44." A-