Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide by Review Date: 2013-06-04

2013-06-04

Calvin Harris: 18 Months (Ultra/Rocnation/Columbia, 2012) Name EDM producer nabs collabs with near-name pop-dance frontpeople--a great trick when it works ("Bounce," "I Need Your Love") ***

Alicia Keys: Girl on Fire (RCA, 2012) Heartfelt, lively, and sweet--as r&b maturity statements go ("Girl on Fire," "One Thing") **

K'naan: Country, God or the Girl (A&M/Octone, 2012) Goes all-out pop as if pop meant sing-song catchy rather than complicated catchy, and only when he raps or someone else sings does the musicality intensify ("Nothing to Lose," "Is Anybody Out There") **

Lucy Love: Kilo (Superbillion, 2010) Poison-hearted one track and into you for life the next, Anglo-Zambian Dane claims rapper as opposed to pop star but may not really know ("Poison," "Thunder") **

Lucy Love: Superbillion (Superbillion, 2009) Her daddy was a DJ and she makes the most of it ("No V.I.P.," "Daddy Was a DJ") **

Frank Ocean: The Lonny Breaux Collection (free download, 2011) Alienated love songs just barely set apart by their specifics ("When I'm Done," "Scared of Beautiful") **

Rihanna: Unapologetic (Def Jam, 2012) So much more provocative as an android than as a human being ("Phresh Out the Runway," "Diamonds," "Numb") ***

Justin Timberlake: The 20/20 Experience (RCA, 2013) He's as cute as you want him to be, and he really lasts a long time ("Let the Groove Get In," "Pusher Love Girl") *

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