Good Old Rock and Roll, 2011 Style
Musically, this is pop without shame‑-her hookiest and most dance-targeted album, decorated with a thoughtful assortment of suitably titillating blats, noodles, dubs, groans, hiccups, boom-booms, cut-ups, speed-ups, xx samples, and spoken-word bits. Lyrically, it celebrates the relationship of sex to love rather than pain, dipping predictably on the heart songs and theme statements that slow down the second half, especially on the standard edition. Associating carnality with love as I do, I prefer it to her earlier albums because I find its many porny moments titillating. Sure Beyoncé is sexier in principle‑-I like smart girls, not bad girls, especially bad girls with a thing for worse men. But I believe in taking my titillation wherever it raises its spongy head. A MINUS
David Guetta: Nothing but the Beat (Astralwerks/Capitol)
In which the Frenchman who inflicted the Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" on a hapless America‑-brute! vulgarian! snailsucker! 'ho!‑-bids for chart success as if he needs to be more famous than he already is. All power synths and squirmy earworms, dated beats and neutered Snoop Dogg, it offends club sophisticates no less than living-room discophobes. But with four-on-the-floor dance music the nearest the actually popular pop world came to mindless rocking out in 2011, I only wish it had a few "I Gotta Feeling"s. Still, the two Nicki Minaj features come close, Taio Cruz does what he's sposed to for once, the will.i.am preachment makes its escapist statement, and neutering Snoop is fine with both me and the ASPCA. Front-loaded in this 13-track Americanski version--as a reward for their sophistication, the Europeans get to fatten up on excess instrumentals--it should slim down further by ditching the last two tracks and climaxing with the Jennifer Hudson love anthem "Night of Your Life," where it simulates the soul that elsewhere is so beside the point. B PLUS
I've never been pressured in any way that's stuck in my mind.
To David S.- Gogol Bordello and the TAMI Show- I guess there are
exceptions to every generality-but then again one persons' "hip" is another persons'
Which "alternate media exposure" is financially supported by one of the largest corporations in the world. I mean, let's not kid around here.
Anyway, this gang has proved quite valuable in every conceivable sense of the word. Now lets manage this exhausting yet beneficial level of decompunding musical, political, cinematic, TV-related and just plain general minutiae for at least another 365 days.
And Bradley's post too. Merry etc.
And: why does any talk of three-over-four equal salivation -- or, seem to? I'm sure I could stumble across icky musicology. This isn't it.
The Weeknd's new mixtape, Echoes of Silence, is nothing special, but let's conclude that for the right reasons, why don't we?
Echoes of Silence
1. "D.D" 4:34
2. "Montreal" 4:11
3. "Outside" 4:19
4. "XO / The Host" 7:24
5. "Initiation" 4:21
6. "Same Old Song" 5:21
7. "The Fall" 5:46
8. "Next" 6:02
9. "Echoes of Silence" 4:00
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.