Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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American Aquarium

  • Things Change [New West, 2018] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Things Change [New West, 2018]
Diligence rewarded: 10 years on the road, six DIY full-lengths, and 30-plus band members later, Reidsville, North Carolina's BJ Barham cold-turkeys the Jameson, ties the knot with Rachael, welcomes baby Josephine, and gets label financing on an album fit to introduce him to the nation at large. Beginning with the stricken anthem "The World Is on Fire," he fashions songs for non-urbanites appalled by America's twin epidemics of cruelty and cowardice--for lifelong patriots negotiating the ground "between hypocrite and hallelujah" in what's become "the home of the afraid." Even when his good heart goes soft, his songs retain their smarts, and city folk have plenty to learn from them. B+