Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide by Review Date: 2013-05-07


Miles Davis Quintet: Live in Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 2 (Columbia/Legacy, 2013) There are probably 30-40 Miles albums I'd rather play, but not with Shorter blatting quite so much, or Corea providing a tolerable dose of the fusion I'll come to hate ("Bitches Brew," "Directions" [7.25/69]) ***

Fleetwood Mac: Rumours: 35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Warner Bros., 2013) Live set on this three-CD exploitation might well entrance, outtakes disc will not ("Monday Morning," "Oh Daddy") *

Jimi Hendrix: People, Hell and Angels (Legacy, 2013) A superior barrel scrape, with Hendrix's comping behind Lonnie Youngblood worthy of the permanent collection ("Let Me Move You," "Somewhere") **

The Postal Service: Give Up: Deluxe 10th Anniversary Edition (Sub Pop, 2013) First three new songs on the bonus disc gave me hope for the next four, which, well, you know (and there are also some pretty decent remixes/remakes!) ("Be Still My Heart," "A Tattered Line of String") **

Todd Snider: Happy New Year Vol. 1 (Aimless, 2013) Updates of "Beer Run" and "Ballad of the Kingsmen," Jerry Jeff Walker cameo with patter, too many redundancies, and three or four definitive renditions ("Alright Guy [Hill Country Goodbye Story] Alright Guy," "Precious Little Miracles," "Can't Complain," "Too Soon to Tell") ***

Omar Souleyman: Dabke 2020 (Sublime Frequencies, 2009) Arguably his most intense record, yet also arguably his most wearying and even sometimes dullest--the death-metal effect ("La Sidounak Sayyada," "Lansab Sherek") **

Omar Souleyman: Jazeera Nights (Sublime Frequencies, 2010) Studio-recorded before he'd refined his crowd-pleasing wiles in the world marketplace, this dabke for dummies lacks a subtle but crucial quantum of give ("Hafer Bidi Gabrak [I Will Dig Your Grave With My Hands]," "Hot Il Khanjar Bi Gleibi [Stab My Heart]") ***

They Might Be Giants: Album Raises New and Troubling Questions (Idlewild, 2011) A "rarities compilation" needn't maintain a surge, but it should peak more than this one does ("Authenticity Trip," "Marty Beller Mask," "Tubthumping") **

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