Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
Books:
  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
Writings:
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  Contact
  What's New?
    RSS
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Consumer Guide Album

tUnE-yArDs: Sketchy [4AD, 2021]
More forceful yet more lyrical than ever, Merrill Garbus's fifth album since she broke in at 30 is her and fully vetted bassist Nate Brenner's most aesthetically willful yet listener-friendly so far--to put it plainly, their very best. Never shy, never overbearing, its soundscape is less irregular without smoothing the jaggedy rhythms over and its lyrics skirt specificity nicely as they honor a dying planet. While it's true that "Homewrecker" could well be an actual real estate guy, "My Neighbor" is simply an "enemy" and both old and female at that--one who ultimately inspires the cooed refrain "Let me love, let me love, let me love, let me love." The keystone is "Hold Myself," where the parents who "betrayed us even when they tried" are all the reason a 42-year-old needs to remain childless. Or are they? A