http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/amanda-1379964784.jpg Defend Yourself


Defend Yourself

Joyful Noise
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
September 23, 2013

This trio, once the platonic ideal of indie rock's ragged, guitar-blasting side and its mopey, acoustic no-fi side (see also their self-parodic 1991 single "Gimme Indie Rock!"), hasn't put out an album since 1999. As lead singer and songwriter Lou Barlow puts it on Defend Yourself, "Things have changed." The 47-year-old Barlow recently ended a 25-year relationship, and you better believe it comes up here. The album bristles with post-­divorce bummers both electric ("I Will") and gracefully acoustic ("Let It Out," "Listen"), while guitarist Jason Loewenstein gets heavy in the riff sense ("Beat"). When Defend Yourself starts attacking, it's as if Clinton never left the White House.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories


    The Pack | 2006

    Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

    More Song Stories entries »