Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Superchunk: Wild Loneliness [Merge, 2022]
Beginning with impressively well-turned songs about first the pandemic and then the world that was still out there dying while we got distracted by the humans who were doing the same only faster, Superchunk's first album since 2018's deftly anti-Trump What a Time to Be Alive is a late bloomer's subtle manifesto. At 55, Mac McCaughan sings more quietly than he used to, as if he has a voice he hopes he'll need five years from now. More conscious than militant, he comes across as someone who'll fight any fight that seems winnable, but also as someone who's tender as a matter of principle. Inspirational Verse: "Well I sleep like a dog/Every sound scares me to waking/I just wanna be the quiet sound/Puts you to sleep without shaking." A-