Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide by Review Date: 2010-12-28


Far East Movement: Free Wired (Cherrytree/Interscope, 2010) If everything here had the propulsion of "Like a G6," this would be 2010's answer to The E.N.D., forget the more likely-seeming candidate. Instead, a one-hit wonder their tribute to the Gulfstream 65 jet will remain. The other nine three-minute songs are more like little Fokkers--party-ready, Auto-Tuned electrohop whose disposable superficiality is an aesthetic principle and whose guest list is a reality show waiting to happen. R. Tedder of One Republic and S. Dogg of Faux Murder LLC? In this context, they could be the same dude. Not so Keri Hilson or Kate Pierson, however. In the morning, they remain hard-working Asian-American lads who respect their mothers. B+

Nicki Minaj: Pink Friday (Young Money/Cash Money, 2010) Not only are those not her breasts, at least not the ones her biologicals gave her, but her hair isn't really pink or, wink wink, straight. Not only is the quick-lipped hoyden of the year all "Young Money, Cash Money, yeah I'm Universal" with every upper-case except the "I" discretionary, but she's consorting with Natasha Bedingfield and reminding how he did it. Half rapping and half singing, half bragging and half kowtowing, brazening a "punt" rhyme here and proclaiming commonality with "girls that never thought they could win" there, she's proud to be shameless, with the hooks to back it up. She knows well the presumably stolen words of her male collaborator-counterpart Drake: "Everybody dies but not everybody lives." And damn right she calls this living. A

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