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:

Jesse Malin

  • The Fine Art of Self Destruction [Artemis, 2003] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Fine Art of Self Destruction [Artemis, 2003]
Not grunge, not punk, not "hard rock," D Generation had positioning problems that songs would have cured in a jiffy. Say they were the part of Aerosmith that loved the Dolls, only so much scruffier and also something else. Which on this Ryan Adams-produced solo debut turns out to be "roots" or "Americana," and before you snort too loud consider David Johansen's progress toward Harry Smith. Those who seek movement in their music will find the arrangements boxy, and Malin may yet learn that real men aren't supposed to keen as if mourning their faithful hound. The voice asserts itself as the record sinks in, however, and not only does each song stand out, but the production variegates a sonic grandeur grounded in the rock verities--check Adams's stutter-step guitar on the title track, or the corrida echoes of "Almost Grown." What Malin mourns has urban roots--a maturing alt dweller's ills, details provided and remedies hopefully adduced. A-

See Also