Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Squirrel Nut Zippers

  • Hot [Mammoth, 1997] B-
  • Perennial Favorites [Mammoth, 1998] Dud

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Hot [Mammoth, 1997]
They cut their second album live to a single mike because they don't just love old jazz--they love old jazz records, which is also why Katharine Whalen thinks the way to channel Billie Holiday and Betty Boop is to scrunch up your tonsils. However sincerely they disavow nostalgia, they're not good enough to escape it--striving for the life they hear on those records, they're neither acute enough musically nor blessed enough culturally to get closer than a clumsy imitation. Mix in a soupcon of postloungecore eleganza and you end up with a band that's damn lucky to have written a couple of dandy songs. And if they purloined that calypso novelty hit they put their name on, I hope the teeth that get extruded are their own. B-

Perennial Favorites [Mammoth, 1998] Dud