Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Ned Sublette

  • Cowboy Rumba [Palm Pictures, 1999] Dud
  • Kiss You Down South [Postmambo, 2012] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Cowboy Rumba [Palm Pictures, 1999] Dud

Kiss You Down South [Postmambo, 2012]
My favorite tune here was also Thomas Jefferson's--the 18th-century hit "Money Musk," which Sublette appropriates the better to ensnare the "great brain of a brave new nation" in his own sweet trap. Listen faithfully and you'll find more, beginning with the geographical-anatomical title lick. But in truth I wish they weren't so subtle, just as I wish the clave aficionado had enlisted a rhythm section instead of recording these 14 songs as if his 1969 nylon-stringed Ramirez classical guitar was Leadbelly's steel, which it isn't--momentum-wise, anyway. That said, phrasing that stops you short he can do, and lyrically he's something else. "Flow" and "Between Piety and Desire," "Gangster Roots" and "The Auctioneer's Nightmare," "Drugs (Fuck All You Motherfuckers)" and "Hey God"--these deliver the requisite lyricism, complexity, and rage, respectively. The Jefferson song, entitled "Sally," delivers all three. A-