Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Consumer Guide Album

Art Brut: Art Brut vs. Satan [Downtown, 2009]
Remember how "Formed a Band" seemed so conceptual--a joke about an idea for a song? Eddie Argos claims it was autobiographical--claims that Art Brut's entire debut album, created when he was 25, was based on his 17-year-old self. Two years later, he goes on, the more forced-seeming It's a Bit Complicated was based on him at 19, when he must have been pretty dumb around girls. At 29, he doesn't leave himself that out: "DC comics and chocolate milkshake/Even though I'm 28" rhymes with "I guess I'm just developing late." True, the waiter or delivery man who supposedly sings that song has lacked Argos's career opportunities. But surely it's Argos-the-artist, meaning the man himself, doing a number on U2 in the studio notes "Slap Dash for No Cash"--"I love the sound of background noise/I want to hear the crack in the singer's voice"--or denying record buyers the vote in "Demons Out!" How many great songs about rock and roll can one man write before he gets tiresome? We may find out. A-