Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide by Review Date: 2013-05-17

2013-05-17

The Go! Team: Rolling Blackouts (Memphis Industries, 2010) Exceeding their emotional reach, musical grasp, and conceptual limitations whether softer or more elaborate ("Apollo Throwdown," "Bust Out Brigade") ***

Jenny & Johnny: I'm Having Fun Now (Warner Bros., 2010) Just because she loves him for bringing out the folk-rock softie in her doesn't mean we have to ("Big Wave," "Just Like Zeus," "My Pet Snakes") ***

George Jones: Cold Hard Truth (Asylum, 1999) Begins with two all-time keepers and a fine novelty, after which the songs need more than the scratch vocals he was stuck with after he ran into an abutment playing his stepdaughter the tape ("Choices," "Cold Hard Truth," "Sinners & Saints") ***

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba: I Speak Fula (Sub Pop, 2010) At ease with himself and in synch with his people ("Jamana Be Diya," "Falani") **

Lil Wayne: I Am Not a Human Being (Universal/Motown, 2010) His throwaways beat their keepers, from solitary yet, but the true classics are all in the middle and the Young Money promos are filler ("I Am Not a Human Being," "Popular," "I'm Single") ***

Old 97's: The Grand Theatre: Volume Two (New West, 2011) If you'd been doing this since 1994, wouldn't you front-load volume one? ("No Simple Machine," "Visiting Hours") *

Liz Phair: Funstyle (Rocket Science Ventures, 2010) Not a good sign when the skits stand out and your old demos are a welcome add-on ("Bang! Bang!" "White Babies") *

They Might Be Giants: Join Us (Idlewild/Rounder, 2011) Kiddie songs becoming a habit, clever fellows service the grownup market ("When Will You Die," "2082") **

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