Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • Visions [4AD, 2012] *
  • Art Angels [4AD, 2015] A

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Visions [4AD, 2012]
As an album, too, well, ethereal, but as an overture . . . ("Oblivion," "Be a Body") *

Art Angels [4AD, 2015]
Generally the soprano signifies purity, which has never been my idea of virtue, not to mention fun. And given how hard it is to achieve, there can be a vanity to it as well--or in earlier Claire Boucher, a self-regarding freakishness. But on this pop-yet-not breakthrough, that pretension is blown away by generous tunes, changeable grooves, and dedicated intensity of purpose. This singer-composer-producer is neither cute nor ethereal, and although the consistency of her register is an affectation by definition, she'll convince anyone who isn't a grouch that she's just being herself, not merely female but, fuck you, feminine--the fairie she likes to claim crossed with a charming three-year-old getting what she wants. Which includes adrenaline highs and mitigated perversity and California love and pornography in phonetic Chinese. She embodies hyperfeminist individualism for a post-rock mindset that likes a good beat fine. A