Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Elizabeth Cook

  • Balls [31 Tigers, 2007] ***
  • Welder [31 Tigers, 2010] A

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Balls [31 Tigers, 2007]
Accounting B.A. accounted a Loretta Lynn for our time by no less an assessor than Nanci Griffith and not without reason! ("Sunday Morning," "Sometimes It Takes Balls to Be a Woman"). ***

Welder [31 Tigers, 2010]
First you tell me the fourth album by a thick-drawling Opry regular from rural Florida assembles 13 pieces of harmonically received verse-chorus-verse, and then I'll tell you they pack more aesthetic power and sophistication than any college-educated art damagee has scared up in a while. Although it helps that she's a college-educated art damagee herself, it helps even more that her bootlegger-turned-welder dad was in a band with her mom. Cook has been perfecting her craft long enough to recognize that her mama's funeral and her heroin addict sister are the stuff of art--those are both exact titles, but capitals and quotation marks would reduce them to mere songs rather than experiences the non-irony-damaged can share. And she's been living her life long enough that she won't let her suffering, to call it by its rightful name, dampen her appetite for good times. Inspirational Verse: "And if I wake up married I'll have to annul it/Right now my hands are in his mullet." A

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