Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Umphrey's McGee: Zonkey [Nothing Too Fancy, 2016]
Prog-leaning jam band as opposed to blues-leaning jam band rolls out an arena-rock mashup album on which the worst track is a closer dominated by one of its own songs and nothing tops an opener where Beck's "Loser" sweeps Radiohead and Phil Collins before it. But it wouldn't be such a hoot without their prog chops. Whether they're performing Michael Jackson-Fleetwood Mac-the Weeknd after the manner of Earth, Wind & Fire, cramming Byrne, Marley, Zappa, and Chicago into a composite, yoking full-Lemmy Motörhead to Ween, or ramming the Beastie Boys up Ted Nugent's musclehead ass, they show a range as both lovers and players of music that you gotta respect and would be a tight-ass yourself not to enjoy. A-