Comebacks, Yes. Trumphs, No.
Eminem: Recovery (Aftermath/Interscope)
The comeback is for Eminem, not Slim Shady‑-and for Marshall at his most martial. His most confessional as well‑-he admits Relapse was "ehh," admits he came this close to beefing with Wayne and Kanye, admits "I'da had my ass handed to me." No matter how cleverly he's rhyming, which varies, he could use subject matter beyond married-to-the-game and his traditional obsessions. But with Shady in the shadows, rarely are these themes lifted by Em's long-recessive sense of play. Bringing the proceedings over the top, however, are the three final tracks: Rihanna's "Love the Way You Lie" hook depositing some bodily fluids on Em's conjugal seesaw, "You're Never Over" nailing Marshall's love for Proof, and the bonus boast "Untitled" renewing our love for Shady. And delivering the best music qua music in 77 minutes is none other than Lil Wayne, whose 16 on "No Love" would be the funkiest thing here if Wayne didn't then hand Eminem his ass back by inserting acutely timed grunts and such for the rest of the track. A MINUS
Big Boi: Sir Lucious Left Foot . . . The Son of Chico Dusty (Def Jam)
Last things first: I wish I could never again hear the jocularly misogynist David Blaine skit at the ass end of "General Patton" in my entire life. But it's not tracked, so insofar as the pervasive albeit incoherent musicality of this overrated good album calls me back, it will always be there to waylay me. Granted, so will a succession of enjoyable songs with plenty to offer. But direct comparison to any post-Aquemini OutKast establishes not Andre's superiority‑-that's ambition and always has been‑-but the congruence of two timbres and deliveries that resembled each other far more than did the big boys who put them across. I feel the juice of Big Boi's "dark fudge brownie with the nut of your choice" and cheer when he mocks "coke-ayena." But without OutKast's synergy, few of his many good moves are slam dunks. "Like a crocodile walking round with alligator skin"? Couldn't have said it better myself. A MINUS
both of them enjoyable but not great.
and there are few albums id like to know your opinion
Taylor Swift's speak now is not a disappointment as i thought it might be
Robyn's body talk is kind of good
--though i really hate her previous album and cant stand euro pop.
Rihanna's Loud has great consistency,and production sounds kind of like nicki's pink friday(but i admit there's not great song on it..maybe"whats my name"?)
since you are no longer giving out bad grades
will you bring back the "turkey shot" or something else like that
---after all,the new DrDre album is out~~
Programming note: you can customize playback on an iPod by programming in start/stop times to eliminate anything that bugs you, from the Blaine skit to band intros.
Happy New Year to the Dean and all his readers! The CG's resurrection is the biggest Reason To Be Cheerful for me since whenever, and as a blog it's now my favorite way to screw off at work: I read Xgau's entries, I read the comments, I read Xgau's comments on the comments, and I find myself checking back at least once a day to see if there are any new comments on any of the entries since the blog started. I'm new to the blogosphere, I gather that's how blogs work and how to people get hooked on them.
Anyway, it's fun for me to read all these comments from obviously knowledgeable music fans, but humbling. I mean how in the world do you have time to absorb all this music? I know the Dean and assume some of the posters do it for a living, but still. About 30 years ago, I briefly considered trying to be a music critic, and I'm glad I didn't because I never would have made it. I'm way too slow. For example, I almost always wind up agreeing with Xgau's recommendations, but it took me repeated listenings over about ten days to get into How I Got Over, which I now think is really great. As a matter of fact, even without the Honorable Mentions, Bob, you're job seems like a lot of work. Thanks again for doing it; it's meant a lot to me and I'm sure it's meant a lot to the other posters.
BY SO MUCH
The Rock is absolutely great, the Blaine hideous at 15 seconds.
Kudos for giving it the appropriate rating. This almost makes me as happy as the time you only gave Animal Collective's MPP an Honorable Mention, or better yet, the time you trashed that awful awful awful Bon Iver album.
Also: Kanye's Chris Rock skit > Big Boi's David Blaine skit
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.