Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Pussy Riot: xxx [Nice Life EP, 2016]
Three radically different songs by the band/concept's de facto spokeswoman, former and probably future Russian political prisoner Nadya Tolokno. "Make America Great Again" opts for positive messaging in re Vladimir Putin's Greatest Shithead: "Let other people in/Listen to your women/Stop killing black children" over a Yank pal's catchy strum. Producer Dave Sitek goes full earworm on the pro-sex feminism of "Straight Outta Vagina," whose "Don't play stupid don't play dumb/Vagina's where you're really from" has been tagged for cis-sexism by a Pitchfork reviewer who failed to address the related grievances of the Caesarian section community. And then there's the avant-hypnotic Russian-language "Organs," which translates, for example: "Female orgasm faces obstacles/My strap-ons are being replaced with uniforms and icons." All three come with YouTube videos, two gruesome and at least one not altogether implausible if you grant that female political prisoners are in for accelerating levels of sexual abuse. Maybe not brandings, OK. But you know normal's over when I start recommending YouTube videos. A-