Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide by Review Date: 2013-07-23

2013-07-23

Kiran Ahluwalia: Aam Zamen: Common Ground (Avokado Artists, 2011) Pan-global chanteuse clothes her fine sentiments in grooves that hail from Islamabad and Timbuktu too, and picks up momentum along the way ("Mustt Mustt [Extended]," "Zindagi") ***

Bettie Serveert: Oh, Mayhem! (Second Motion, 2013) One of our finer big-guitar bands--and without a hint of macho, including the "ironic" kind in which cred-hungry young horndogs camouflage their ignorance of history ("Mayhem," "D.I.Y.") ***

Lana Del Rey: Paradise (Interscope, 2012) Continues to project a hedonistic lassitude and desperate edge you wish you could warn your buddy off ("American," "Body Electric") **

Mariem Hassan: Shouka (Nubenegra, 2010) Sahrawi powerhouse finds new Sahrawi guitarist and rides the haul music they share as hard as she can--for non-Sahrawis, maybe a little too hard ("Maatal-La," "Haiyu") ***

Nikki Lane: Walk of Shame (IAmSound, 2011) Greenville, South Carolina, rebel learns what she means by country music in LA, NYC, and at long last Nashville ("Walk of Shame," "Gone, Gone, Gone") **

Ana´s Mitchell: Hadestown (Righteous Babe, 2010) Classically-themed new-folkie operetta lets Mitchell warble her some Euridice, Greg Brown dig deep into Hades, and Justin Vernon spare Orpheus his falsetto ("Wedding Song," "Way Down Hadestown") **

Bahar Movahed & Ali Akbar Moradi: Goblet of Eternal Light: Maqams of Kurdish Tanbour Music of Iran (Traditional Crossroads, 2012) Ayatollahs or no ayatollahs, she will too sing these devotional love songs ("Beloved," "The Desire of Union") **

Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Mosquito (Interscope, 2013) Compelling sound, constricted souls, Kool Keith, and cash flow ("Mosquito," "Sacrilege") ***

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