Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Buck 65: Situation [Strange Famous, 2007]
Timelag-wise, the 1957 concept is as if some '60s songpoet had conceived an album about Armistice Day, influenza, the Palmer raids and Mary Pickford. Only that would have been a milestone and this isn't, which you can blame on heightened aesthetic expectations rather than the potency of this Canadian rapper's literary mojo. Abandoning cabaret dalliances, Buck growls "tenfold"-"Glenn Gould" and "go study"-"Mr. Nobody" over insistent purist-plus beats. He's content to be a bohemian who knows something, like for instance who the "know-nothing bohemians" were. Beatniks, declared outraged 1958 square Norman Podhoretz, who would say the same in 2008 about Richard Terfry if he wasn't so busy bombing Iran. Podhoretz, I mean. Terfry's just bombing him. A-