Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Robert Christgau's Is It Still Good to Ya?


Expert Witness: Ed Hamell's Brutal, Bastard-Bashing Fantasies

New in Expert Witness:

  • Hamell on Trial: The Night Guy at the Apocalypse: Profiles of a Rushing Midnight (Saustext) A
  • Lyrics Born: Quite a Life (Mobile Home) A-
  • Mudhoney: Digital Garbage (Sub Pop) ***
  • Will Hoge: My American Dream (Thirty Tigers/EDLO) **

New questions and answers were posted on Tuesday, October 9: Xgau Sez.

Expert Witness: On Noname's Poetic Breakthrough

New in Expert Witness:

  • Noname: Room 25 (self-relesed) A
  • The Internet: Hive mind (Columbia) A-
  • Blood Orange: Negro Swan (Domino) ***
  • Medhane: Ba Suba, Ak Jamm (Grand Closing) *
Expert Witness: On Eminem

New in Expert Witness:

  • Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (Aftermath/Shady/Interscope) A
  • Eminem: Kamikaze (Aftermath/Shady/Interscope/Goliath) B+
  • Jean Grae & Quelle Chris: Everything's Fine (Mello Music) ***
  • E-40: The Gift of Gab (HTS) **
  • Rae Sremmurd: SR3MM (Eardruma/Interscope) *

New questions and answers were posted on Tuesday, September 18: Xgau Sez.

Expert Witness: Some Raggedy-Ass Rock and Some Tropical Fuck Storm

New in Expert Witness:

  • The Mekons 77: It Is Twice Blessed (Slow Things) A-
  • Tropical Fuck Storm: A Laughing Death in Meatspace (Tropical Fuck Storm/Mistletone) A-
  • Ceramic Dog: YRU Still Here? (Northern Spy) ***
  • Ike Reilly: Crooked Love (Rock Ridge) **
  • Marc Ribot: Songs of Resistance 1942-2018 (Anti-) *

Also new:

Also old, but new here:

Expert Witness: John Kruth's Broad Compass

New in Expert Witness:

  • John Kruth & La Società del Musici: Forever Ago (Ars Spoleteum) A-
  • Clay Harper: Bleak Beauty (self-released) B+
  • Sam Baker: Land of Doubtr (self-released) **
  • Chris Butler & Ralph Carney: Songs for Unsung Holidays (Smog Veil) **

New questions and answers were posted on Tuesday, September 4: Xgau Sez.

Expert Witness: Hinds' Good-Hearted Chops

New in Expert Witness:

  • Hinds: I Don't Run (Mom + Pop) A-
  • Bali Baby: Baylor Swift (Twin) A-
  • Kali Uchis: Isolation (Virgin EMI) ***
  • Primo!: Amici (Polyester) *

New questions and answers on Tuesday, August 21: Xgau Sez.

Expert Witness: Methodist Hospital's Goofy Apocalypse

New in Expert Witness:

  • Methodist Hospital: Giants (self-released) A-
  • Rolling Blackouts C.F.: Hope Downs (Sub Pop) B+
  • Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks: Sparkle Hard (Matador) ***
  • Low Cut Connie: "Dirty Pictures" (Part 2) (Contender) **
  • Young Fathers: Cocoa Sugar (Ninja Tune) **
  • Okkervil River: In the Rainbow Rain (ATO) *
  • Eyelids: or (Jealous Butcher/Schizophrenic) *


Expert Witness: Amanda Shires's Powers of Observation

New in Expert Witness:

  • Amanda Shires: To the Sunset (Silver Knife) A-
  • Lori McKenna: The Tree (CN/Thirty Tigers) B+
  • Sarah Shook & the Disarmers: Years (Bloodshot) **
  • Ashley Monroe: Sparrow (Warner Bros.) *

The second batch of answers to Xgau Sez was posted on Tuesday, at the top of the usual page.

Expert Witness: Three Cutting, Politically Minded Records

New in Expert Witness:

  • Chicago Farmer: Quartet Past Tonight ( A-
  • AD the Voice: Maxi-Single (Statik Entertainment) A-
  • American Aquarium: Things Change (New West) B+

Expect a second batch of answers to Xgau Sez sometime Tuesday. It will be posted at the top of the usual page.

Expert Witness: Elza Soares's Disruptive Brilliance

New in Expert Witness:

  • Elza Soares: Deus É Mulher (Deck) A-
  • Tom Zé: Sem Você Não A (Irara) B+
  • Iara Rennó: Arca (YB Music) ***
  • Tom Zé: Tribunal do Feicebuque (Irara) ***
  • Iara Rennó: Flecha (YB Music) *

We've done a partial update of the website. This includes a page for Robert Christgau's new essay collection to be published October 26 by Duke University Press: Is It Still Good to Ya? Fifty Years of Rock Criticism 1967-2017. The book contract requires that we embargo 70% of the book's content for three months before and two years after publication, so you will notice that a number of essays (59) will now link to the book page.

These changes are happening at a time when lots of things on the website are in process of being revamped, so it's quite possible for a partial update to introduce new bugs. If you encounter any problems, please notify the webmaster.

Xgau Sez

The first batch of answers to Xgau Sez have been posted. Some style issues are still up in the air, but that link will always get you the latest answers.

You can ask a question using this form.

Expert Witness: SOPHIE's Sweet Clarity

New in Expert Witness:

  • Sophie: Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides (Transgressive/Future Classic) A-
  • Beats Antique: Shadowbox (Beats Antique) A-
  • DJ Koze: Knock Knock (Pampa) **
  • Allen Ravenstine: Waiting for the Bomb (Morphius/MVD) *

We're setting up a new section where Robert Christgau will be answering questions from readers. To submit a question, use this form. Current plan is to post first set of Q&A on Tuesday, July 24.

Christgau has a new book coming out in October from Duke University Press: Is It Still Good to Ya? Fifty Years of Rock Criticism 1967-2017. You can order a copy at Indie Bound or your preferred book retailer.

Expert Witness: G.O.O.D. Music's Good (and Less Good) Music)

New in Expert Witness:

  • Pusha T: Daytona (G.O.O.D. Music) A
  • Tierra Whack: Whack World (self-released) A-
  • Kanye West and Kid Cudi: Kids See Ghosts (G.O.O.D. Music) A-
  • Gift of Gab: Rejoice! Rappers Are Rapping Again! (Giftstribution) ***
  • Nas: Nasir (G.O.O.D. Music) *
  • Kanye West: Ye (G.O.O.D. Music) *

We're setting up a new section where Robert Christgau will be answering questions from readers. To submit a question, use this form.

Expert Witness: Merrill Garbus's Creative Compulsions

New in Expert Witness:

  • tUnE-yArDs: I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life (4AD) A-
  • Courtney Barnett: Tell Me How You Really Feel (Mom + Pop) A-
  • Neko Case: Hell-On (Anti-) B+
  • Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile: Lotta Sea Lice (Matador) **
  • Lily Allen: No Shame (Warner Bros.) *
Expert Witness: Diali Cissokho and Kaira Ba's Beautiful Crossover

New in Expert Witness:

  • Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba: Routes (Twelve Eight) A-
  • Imarhan: Temet (City Slang) A-
  • Molly Tigre: Molly Tigre (Very Special) ***
  • Sidi Touré: Toubalero (Thrill Jockey) ***
Expert Witness: Wynton Marsalis's Smarts and Chops

New in Expert Witness:

  • Wynton Marsalis Septet: United We Swing: Best of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Galas (Blue Engine) A-
  • Moby Grape: Live (Sundazed) A-
  • Outlaws & Armadillos: Country's Roaring '70s (Legacy) B+
Expert Witness: Jon Hassell's "Anxiety-Easingj, Life-Enhancing" New LP

New in Expert Witness:

  • Jon Hassell: Listening to Pictures (Pentimento Volume 1) (Ndeya) A-
  • Jon Hopkins: Immunity (Domino) A-
  • Jlin: Black Origami (Planet Mu) ***
  • Jon Hopkins: Singularity (Domino) **
Expert Witness: Parquet Courts' Sharp, Sinewy New Album

New in Expert Witness:

  • Parquet Courts: Wide Awaaaaake! (Rough Trade) A
  • No Age: Snares Like a Haircut (Drag City) A
  • The Coathangers: Live (Suicide Squeeze) **
  • Idles: Brutalism (Balley) *
  • Bully: Losing (Sub Pop) *
Expert Witness: The Bold Pop of Janelle Monáe and Perfume Genius

New in Expert Witness:

  • Janelle Monáe: Dirty Computer (Atlantic) A-
  • Perfume Genius: No Shape (Matador) A-
  • Lana Del Rey: Lust for Life (Interscope/Polydor) ***
  • Taylor Swift: Reputation (Big Machine) ***
  • Sam Smith: The Thrill of ItAll (Deluxe Edition) (Capitol) **
  • Miguel: War & Leisure (RCA) **
  • Pink: Beautiful Trauma (RCA) *
  • Kesha: Rainbow (RCA) *

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