Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide by Review Date: 2018-08-31


Bali Baby: Baylor Swift (Twin, 2018) The sex-positive young Dirty South battle rapper makes sure you know this is her pop move with a title search engines consider a typo. By pop she means vulnerable, sometimes playful, sometimes even loony-toony, with emo-ish lyrics in the manner of the simultaneously pained and drawled "You got me feeling so lost/Sitting out here solo/Keep checking my phone." Both her musical execution and her marketing strategy favor a beguilingly silly charm. The hookfest begins with the aptly entitled "Introduction": squelchy three-note synth hook over and over under lyrics that begin "Ha, ha, ha/Mwah!/I said 'Hi, it's nice to meetcha.'" A-

Hinds: I Don't Run (Mom + Pop, 2018) Think of Hinds as the anti-Beach House. Where Victoria Legrand's cool continental tease gets more detached and high-handed as her brand matoors, the Madrid foursome want to be liked. So they play the girl group, deploying chops that recall the early Breeders to power a goofy insouciance that beefs up the spirit of the Chiffons and the Cookies. All into their twenties by now, they make no pretence to innocence, because by now they're not just club kids--they're club kids who've seen the world no matter how unpolished their English. But they're also good-hearted going on kind, and although they'd rather hitch up with someone who doesn't get night sweats or bang another baby when they're not looking, they remain in the love hunt as a matter of principle. A-

Primo!: Amici (Polyester, 2018) Modest band posits small solutions for young women pursuing busy lives ("You've Got a Million," "Bronte Blues") *

Kali Uchis: Isolation (Superbillion, 2018) "Everything is just wonderful here in my dreams, here in my dreams" ("Just a Stranger," "Killer") ***

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