Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Le Tigre: Le Tigre [Mr. Lady, 1999]
In which Kathleen Hanna does the unprecedented--if not, apparently, impossible--and reinvents punk again. The first time seems a snap in retrospect, a straightforward seizure of formal strategy and emotional stance for grrrl rage and female discovery-between Hanna's instinct for the ditty and her big pipes, Bikini Kill was an instant sure shot. But she got too old for that, and maybe a little too fulfilled as well. So having passed through her woebegone Julie Ruin project, she gets together with two arty girlfriends and makes deceptively simple music about her arty life. Topics include aesthetic theory, millenarian hippies, John Cassavetes, the pleasures of the Metro Card, who put the ram in the rama-lama-ding-dong, and "Hot Topic" ("Nina Simone!" "Ann Peebles!" "The Slits!" "James Baldwin!" "Mia X!" "Billy Tipton!" "Shirley Muldowney!"). Dynamic synthbeats. Spirited choruses. Even some trick guitar. A