Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Kimya Dawson: I'm Sorry That Sometimes I'm Mean [Rough Trade, 2002]
First of the CD-ROMs she started peddling at gigs in early 2000, first officially released. Though her subsequent output includes stories so fantastic they could kick off an attack of the Dylans, if there's a song you don't need here it's only by comparison. Right, it won't convert the insulin-challenged, and what can she do? Among other things--her desire to hit a certain social worker with a crowbar, for instance--Dawson has a genuinely sweet nature and a fondness for every kind of play including word. Like fellow (ex-?) Moldy Peach Adam Green, she's super clever, but in addition she's got loads of heart--heart that would look great on her sleeve if she had a sleeve, which she doesn't because she's so naked. Coextensive with the nursery-rhyme whisper and goofy-catchy toy samples is someone you want to know--mature, childlike, full of fun, and conversant with species of misery growing girls should only grow up without. Any album that leaves you wondering whether there's really a Muhammad Ali Barbie will enrich your life in ways you can't now imagine. So will any album that explains why kids in day care and singer-songwriters in extremis want to die. A