Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Speedy Ortiz

  • Major Arcana [Carpark, 2013] *
  • Foil Deer [Carpark, 2015] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Major Arcana [Carpark, 2013]
Plowing past the fun, but never quite plowing it under ("Fun," "Plough") *

Foil Deer [Carpark, 2015]
I've always liked the nice Bettie Serveert catch in Sadie Dupuis's voice and the strange tunes that go with it. But as someone who prefers lyrics to poetry and is positive there's a difference, I don't find her MFA in the latter an attraction. In fact, I liked her first album enough as music that I only put it away when I got annoyed by its obscurantism. The follow-up's more legible--"We were the French club dropouts," tell it sister, though that one's a bit of an outlier. Even if it wasn't, however, I would have compromised my principles, because on the follow-up I love the even nicer Bettie Serveert catch in Sadie Dupuis's voice and the stranger tunes that go with that. And since I also love the guitars, I was intrigued to learn that tourmate guitarist Devin McKnight has replaced original guitarist Matt Robidoux. Dupuis does all the writing and most of the lead parts. But watch a little YouTube and you'll see--McKnight's a major improvement. A-