Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Bob Mould: Sunshine Rock [Merge, 2019]
Thirty years post-Hüsker Dü, 25 post-Sugar, the now Berlin-based Mould finally intensifies the power-trio format he helmed with an unstinting hand while delivering the tunes late Hüsker Dü drummer Grant Hart could never put across without him. Four of the most winning are called "Sunshine Rock," "Sunny Love Song," "Camp Sunshine," and "Western Sunset," so maybe some life-change has made him a happy fella in a political morass he references without targeting. Never does he fully generate the surging de facto optimism of either of his old bands, and I'll blame the morass, thank you. But this is the first time the solo Mould has come close to what he was once capable of, and that he's managed it this late should encourage us all. A-