Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Action Bronson

  • Dr. Lecter [Fine Fabric Delegates, 2011] B+
  • The Program [free download EP, 2011] ***
  • Blue Chips [free download, 2012] B+
  • Rare Chandeliers [Vice, 2012] *

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Dr. Lecter [Fine Fabric Delegates, 2011]
So much more consumable than Jacob or Hublot, the food Bronson fixates on never gets fancier than heirloom tomatoes or seared Ahi tuna--no cross-hatched merganser breast with lychee infusion and truffle garnis for this fat guy. With crucial propulsion and more crucial fun from no-name Tommy Mas's unfashionably sampled, unfashionably funky beats, his gluttony humanizes hip-hop materialism at an economically accessible level. If only he didn't treat women as meat like thousands of hip-hop hungries before him, I might even play it for my favorite cook at dinnertime. Instead, the follow-up Well-Done trades in his homie Tommy on the more renowned and predictable Statik Selektah as it seeks revenge for the bad romance the fat guy had coming. B+

The Program [free download EP, 2011]
Four songs about sampling and not all that much food ("Mr. Songwriter," "Amuse Bouche") ***

Blue Chips [free download, 2012]
As previously and probably hereafter, I always eat up the food stuff and occasionally retch at the sex stuff, with the "Thug Love Story 2012"/"Hookers at the Point" pairing the test case. Sexist though both are, I'm a fan because like Ghostface's "Wildflower" they come down on the right side of that razor-thin exposure-exploitation dividing line. But where with Eminem's "Kim" I'll argue that case ad nauseum, here no one is obliged to differentiate between those tracks and the one where he makes the "joke"-I-hope-he-claims about sharing a hooker with his three-year-old son--sometimes dumb is just evil, end of story. What nobody should try and deny is this album's accelerating momentum and unstinting silliness--not only does he call the itty-bitty that needs "the surgery" his "pee-pee," he rhymes it with "TV," "CD," "3-D," and "Fiji." Yummiest food-sex confluence: cunnilingus as razorback clams with bucatini. B+

Rare Chandeliers [Vice, 2012]
Never a good sign when a spoken-word sample IDs the album in more than name only ("Rare Chandeliers," "Demolition Man") *