Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Mount Eerie: Now Only [P.W. Elverum & Sun, 2018]
Because you only die once, and also because nothing is as perfect as death, there's no way Phil Elverum can reaccess the stark perfection of A Crow Looked at Me. So at first only his enthralled recollection of his ecstatic and in retrospect doomed first days with Geneviève holds up against the living memory of his death album. But you have to admire the no-fuss complexities of his survival album--in particular his realization that it isn't just the artist's body that can't survive, it's the artist's body of work. Just as admirable is how unironic he is about the time Skrillex's subwoofers were juxtaposed against his frail humanity, and I quote, "At a festival that had paid to fly me in / To play these death songs to a bunch of young people on drugs." About what a shitty father Jack Kerouac was. About how cute and smart his and Geneviève's sweet kid is. About how doomed she is too. A