Odds and Ends 005
Pazz & Jop Comments 2011
St. Vincent: Strange Mercy (4AD)
Adele and Gaga watch your backs, lest she take art-rock pop ("Cheerleader," "Dilettante," "Cruel") ***
The Weeknd: House of Balloons (XO download)
If coming leaves your penis feeling that bad, fella, remember that they're not called narcotics for nothing ("Wicked Games," "House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls") ***
Adele: 21 (XL/Columbia)
Part of me likes how many albums this proud white-soul normal has sold, but the part that likes fast ones wins ("Rolling in the Deep," "Rumour Has It") **
Drake: Take Care (Cash Money/Universal Republic)
Musical docudrama proves conclusively that having too much money is bad for you, so how come no one gets the point? ("Make Me Proud," "Headlines") **
Girls: Record 3: Father, Son, Holy Ghost (True Panther/Fantasy Trashcan)
Phil Spector overstated his feelings too, and look where it got him ("Honey Bunny," "Magic") **
Wye Oak: Civilian (Merge)
Rising into exultation, fading into doubt ("Holy Holy," "Civilian") **
Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop)
Darker and more socially conscious than their escapist admirers or their ideological detractors are equipped to notice ("Helplessness Blues," "Someone You Admire") *
The Black Keys: El Camino (Nonesuch)
With advice from Master of All Soundscapes Danger Mouse, they construct a loud blooze-rawk one, complete with song outlines ("Lonely Boy," "Run Right Back") *
Maybe depressive albums don't inspire one to get out and vote.
"Cave painting," indeed.
It's debatable whether 80 minutes of a guy talking should be eligible for a music poll, as comedy records are pretty different from musical ones in form and function,
It's debatable whether 80 minutes of a guy rapping over sampled music from other people should be eligible for a music poll, as rap records are pretty different from real musical ones in form and function.
(Uh, for the folks who seem to be getting all worked up, it's a satirical conter-example.)
There ain't no help, the Cavalry stayed home
There it is boys and girls. Whatcha gonna do about it?
is Louis K pazz or jop. Isn't that the criteria for the list?
It's a rekkid of sound. You put it on. You play it. It makes noise. It's not a painting, a book, a play, a movie, a dance or a multi-media performance piece. If you become a music Inquisitor, then the question arises: how much music does a rekkid have to have on it before you don't burn it at the stake? Two songs? A little playing on half the cuts? A bit of music every track?
If I'd ever run across a new, no-question-classical recording that gripped me as hard as any record I'd heard that year, and one that had clear potential to affect a wide audience, it would have gone on my Pazz and Jop ballot, not as a "protest," but because I would argue it belonged there. (The finest Beethoven recording of the year, unless there was some miraculous audience-catnip innovation about it, would not belong.)
good critics change their minds. I'm not sure that's healthy all the time (and neither does he, I'm sure) but re-thinking your position is not such a bad thing.
I think I was warm to the new ****ed Up before Michael posted his review, but he was warmer than I was at the time. Then I wound up voting for it in P&J and he didn't.
Like I said, excellent in pieces, not as a whole. Much like the last Arcade Fire album (with talent differential factored in).
Jason once told me that good critics change their minds. I'm not sure that's healthy all the time (and neither does he, I'm sure) but re-thinking your position is not such a bad thing. Certainly, my take on the Weeknd changed with each successive mixtape.
Resisting urge to paste the usually astute Tatum's review of House of Balloons only because I still owe him for Cartagena! (Maybe F-cked Up too, or was that Joey?)That is exactly what I'm talking about. You go, Brad.
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.