With its perfectly crafted zingers, waves of pure heartbreak, and a visual...– Emily Nussbaum, from her review of the TV shows “Luck” and “Downton Abbey,” published in The New Yorker. She writes, “I like cake,” and thus provides an entire aesthetic philosophy whittled down into an admission with three simple words. I’m on board Emily....
This Christmas I handed out two homemade mix CDs to friends and family: one has the unoriginal title “Alternative Nation,” and the other, “Robert’s Robyn,” recreates critic Robert Christgau’s preferred version of Robyn’s Body Talk. Three years ago I handed out fun single-CD histories of both rap and jazz, and this is my attempt to make it some kind of holiday tradition. I also asked my friend,...
In Defense of my own Cockiness
To the apparent surprise of many of his readers, Robert Christgau posted a rather positive review of Rihanna’s latest album Talk That Talk on his Expert Witness blog two weeks ago. In the comments section, several of Christgau’s fans complained of how R.’s music is beyond terrible because 1. it is hopelessly derivative of other, better music, and, 2. tracks such as “Cockiness” and “Birthday Cake”...