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Robert Christgau


  • Remembering Rai & Rock Troublemaker Rachid Taha

    The French-Algerian singer, who died on September 12th at 59, went from teenage DJ to international star, challenging musical parochialism at every turn.

    • Music
  • Robert Christgau on Aretha, the Genius Behind a Voice Unlike Any Other

    Aretha Franklin defined soul music and the nooks and crannies of her power were as impressive as her peaks

    • Music
  • 50 Essential Albums of 1967

    From the Doors' debut to Aretha Franklin's first smash

    • Music
  • The Lost World of 'Llewyn Davis': Christgau on the Coen Brothers

    Robert Christgau digs into the Coen Brothers' cinematic search for authenticity

    • Music
  • Growing Pains

    There's no denying the commercial legs or fan appeal of Mary J. Blige's late-2005 The Breakthrough. In the wake of 2003's Diddy dud Love & Life and the teeth of an industrywide slump, its triple-platinum domestic sales — not to mention the sixteen-month stay of "Be Without You" on the R&B chart — are very […]

    • Music
  • Jewels in the Crown: All Star Duets with the Queen

    The third Aretha catalog exploitation of the fall is the first from Sony/BMG, which has long since deleted the Eighties and Nineties Aretha albums where half of its sixteen tracks first appeared, and it's also the best. But this isn't to accuse it of coherence or anything. Some of it has been previously recycled — […]

    • Music
  • As I Am

    You have to admire Alicia Keys' commitment to her street-nice vision. In the year Ciara grew up, Rihanna left the islands and Jill Scott explored the joy of sex, the twenty-six-year-old's third studio album envisions a hip-hop generation ready for its own Roberta Flack. Despite substantial input from Kerry "Krucial" Brothers, the rapper boyfriend Keys […]

    • Music
  • Chrome Dreams II

    The great lost Chrome Dreams was the original home of "Powderfinger" and "Like a Hurricane." Nothing nearly that major uplifts this slyly titled collection, including its selling point, the Wacky Lost "Ordinary People," an eighteen-minute ramble through various meanings of the word "people" steeped in Young's lifelong confusion about popularity and democracy. But "Ordinary People" […]

    • Music
  • Moby Grape

    What a short, strange trip it was. And what a long, strange trip it turned into anyway. Two Seattle bar-band honchos and two aspiring L.A. pros shoring up speedy psychedelic wonder boy Skip Spence, Moby Grape were assembled by hustler Matthew Katz in San Francisco in 1966 and recorded one magnificent album before Spence's paranoid […]

    • Music
  • Washington Square Serenade

    Supposedly, this Steve Earle record is unlike all other Steve Earle records because it was recorded with beats. But production by Dust Brother John King notwithstanding, it impacts just like any other Steve Earle record — lyrics first. So fans will follow the title's hint and take this for the New York record of a […]

    • Music