Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Dandy Warhols

  • Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia [Capitol, 2000] **
  • Welcome to the Monkey House [Capitol, 2003] A-
  • Odditorium, or Warlords of Mars [Capitol, 2005] *
  • . . . Earth to the Dandy Warhols . . . [Beat the World, 2008] **
  • This Machine [The End, 2012] **
  • Distortland [Dine Alone, 2016] *

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia [Capitol, 2000]
Dandies have feelings too--no, strike that, tunes too ("Shakin'," Godless"). **

Welcome to the Monkey House [Capitol, 2003]
MTV babies say this is the Dandys' early-'80s record, and who am I to demur? Someone who was too busy back then with X and juju and Grandmaster Flash to internalize whatever musical materials the band has purloined, and who would prefer said materials in this context even if I had. Better Nick Rhodes producing alt sellouts than Nick Rhodes claiming alt himself, and better alt sellouts embracing electropop detachment than alt sellouts aping rock and roll abandon. Clever and droll but also hypnotic and mysterious, with odd noises buried in the luscious mix and Zia McCabe's keyb bass as pleasurable as any explicit hook, they make their big statement in "Plan A," which goes "All of us sing about it" for quite a long while before positing first a planet and then a message that aren't there. A-

Odditorium, or Warlords of Mars [Capitol, 2005]
What they get for assuming psychedelia, futurism, and the drone are the same thing ("Down Like Disco," "All the Money or the Simple Life Honey"). *

. . . Earth to the Dandy Warhols . . . [Beat the World, 2008]
Groove-launching space oddity light years from home ("Welcome to the Third World," "Mission Control"). **

This Machine [The End, 2012]
From a band so immersed in the immersive, Tennesse Ernie Ford and offers to rest your head qualify as welcome moments of clarity ("Slide," "Alternative Power to the People") **

Distortland [Dine Alone, 2016]
Still droning drily enough if you give them more chances than they deserve, but note these famous last words: "I'm too old for this shit" ("Pope Reverend Jim," "You Are Killing Me") *