Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Tierra Whack: Whack World [self-released EP, 2018]
The third commandment of my school of Orthodox Rock Criticism, after "Fuck getting there first" and "Never read the comments," is "Thou shalt not watch the video." We Orthodox stick to music music music. So having concluded after a few streams that these 15 one-minute songs belonged in my permanent collection as songs, I'm reviewing the music here--a burn of the Philadelphia rapper-singsonger's EP, which I DLed from Amazon after determining that it wasn't on Bandcamp. The fragments gain emotional weight as they accrue, so that the second half is more affecting than the jokes, brags, reveries, and interpersonal touches that draw you in, with the turning point the hooky hillbilly stomp "Fuck Off." But the most emotional moment of all is the 15 seconds of wordless, keyboard-brushed cymbal ticks that transition out of Whack's final line: "I know that I am worth mo-o-o-ore." Having figured all this out, however, I decided that professional ethics required me to check the video everybody was raving about on my desktop. And how about that--for once everybody was right. Soon I had it up on the flat-screen for my wife, who'd only liked the EP. The video she loved. "It gave me reason for living," she told me, and we all need those these days. A