Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Strawberry Jam

New Yorkers work up psychedelic weirdness, plus a couple of tunes

The sixth album by this neocommunalist, neopsychedelic quartet improves on 2005's Feels, flashing more shards of tune to lure the coeds with the Coleman PerfectFlow InstaStart Lanterns over to their adamantly unkempt campfire. The welcoming "Peacebone," the energetic "Chores" and the elated "Cuckoo Cuckoo" might get a young leisure consumer to risk conversion at one of the grotty neoprimitivist orgies their shows are bruited to be. Then again, the ninety seconds of weirded-up solo organ ostinato that then underlies or swallows three minutes of incomprehensible singing on "Winter Wonder Land" might inspire the same normal to stay home and watch Seinfeld reruns. It depends on how he or she felt about the six-minute centerpiece, "For Reverend Green," where the listener strains to hear frontman Avey Tare rave, "I think it's all right to feel human now." Great, really. But didn't we know that already?

Rolling Stone, Sept. 20, 2007