Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Gogol Bordello: Solidaritine [Cooking Vinyl/Casa Bordello, 2022]
Now 50, Eugene Hutz obviously hasn't grown more mellifluous with the years, but the rawness isn't just physiological. Having fled Ukraine with his part-Roma family in the wake of Chernobyl 1986, Hutz spent six years getting to the U.S., where by the early '00s he was on his way to worldwide cult renown. But since he now finds his birth nation under brutal attack by a new breed of fascists, it's only natural that his 2022 songs are rawer, angrier, and less "musical" than those on 2017's Seekers and Finders. What may seem less natural until you figure out why you can't stop listening is that this is his best album ever not counting 2007's triumphant Super Taranta! Raw and angry is only a precondition--it shares its title with the imaginary hormone named on the opening track, a biochemical miracle that unites humans engaged in concerted struggle. After which the album unfurls song after song that evoke such a struggle: "I'm Coming Out" (as a human who resists "the technogenic sphere"), "Take Only What You Can Carry" (your bare hands will do to scoop water), "Knack for Life" (the faculty that helps you sense when the ice is too thin). It's "The Era of the End of Eras," and we'd better adjust. Fugazi gets a cover, Bad Brains a cameo. It's all hands on deck. A