Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Karen Mantler

  • My Cat Arnold [XtraWatt, 1989] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

My Cat Arnold [XtraWatt, 1989]
You'd best believe her mom's her best friend--her bangs, her pout, and her drily comic, jazz-informed tone all owe Carla Bley. But where Carla's a jazz composer with pop instincts, Karen's vice versa and sui generis enough, her personal unconfessions, educated chords, and meaty obbligatos a relief from standard singer-songwriterese. And where the competition oozes feeling, Karen's weakness is detachment--she seems settled into her existential anxiety. Male lead: Eric Mingus. B+