Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Frankie Cosmos: Vessel [Sub Pop, 2018]
Because it takes guts to get up there and sing your songs, we expect toughness from the women now achieving indie-rock parity. So Greta Kline's fragility may seem cutesy or calculated rather than the forthright aesthetic signature it is. Of course she's self-conscious about the fragility of the fluting ditties that pour out of her body-that's-a-burden, 18 tunelets on parade on this 33-minute breakout moment. How could she not be? But that doesn't make her fixation on the romantic love she's so insecure about anything like shtick. Immerse in her tiny reflections and glimmers of self-realization and ask yourself just how secure all the 24-year-olds with tougher fronts feel as they fuck around or choose their mate--cynical or carnal, enraged or disengaged, you know they get scared themselves. Kline's quietude takes guts too--more, maybe. A-