Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide by Review Date: 2012-10-02

2012-10-02

Carolina Chocolate Drops: Leaving Eden (Nonesuch, 2012) Novelty revivals yes, theme statements no--please, I'm begging, no-o-o-o ("Boodle-De-Bum-Bum," "Ruby, Are You Mad at Your Man?") **

The D.A.: You Kids! (self-released, 2011) Driving, melodic, engaged, humane, disillusioned v-k-g-b-d-trumpet from El Paso, which emerges as one of the cities David Byrne ended up living in ("We Hungry," "Orange & Black") ***

The Dirty Projectors: Swing Lo Magellan (Domino, 2012) Melodies you want to hear again for their shapes and harmonies alone, lyrics of discernible emotional import that include the cheerful verbal preset "that doesn't make any sense what you just said" ("Maybe That Was It," "Dance for You") ***

Leland Sundries: The Foundry EP (L'Echiquier EP, 2012) Not Lou meets Leonard, children, Eef meets Jonathan, and just as dark and droll ("Giving Up Redheads," "Apparition") **

Phineas and the Lonely Leaves: The Kids We Used to Be (lonelyleaves.com, 2010) Memories of a Dutchess County puberty ("Come Back to Peekskill," "The Bros. of Summer") *

The Soft Pack: Strapped (Mexican Summer, 2012) Out on their own, g-g-b-d survey the song-friendly precincts of the big wide indie-rock world and try a little of this and a little of that ("Saratoga," "Bound to Fall") **

Swearin': Swearin' (Salinas, 2012) As her sister Katie toegazes with her Waxahatchie side project/one-off, Allison Crutchfield dons the grrrl-punk mantle with less musical, verbal, and vocal distinctness ("Movie Star," "Hundreds and Thousands") **

The Very Best: MTMTMK (Moshi Moshi, 2012) They'd be better off not being Bloc Party if they didn't wish they were ("Rumbae," "We OK") *

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