Yesterday we ran a series of hilariously negative reviews of classic albums, and noted at the time that we could have cited several more from the inimitable Robert Christgau, a man who’s never been shy about putting his most controversial foot forward when it comes to music. Christgau’s hairy-chested prose, idiosyncratic tastes, and habit of reviewing himself rather than the album in question have often perplexed us, as has his Dean of American Rock Critics™ schtick. In view of this, after the jump, we’ve set out a selection of mystifying reviews — both good and bad — of notable records, and we’re asking you: which quote comes from an Amazon commenter, and which was penned by the man himself? The results, which you can find at the end of the post, may or may not surprise you. … Read More
The Village Voice’s annual Pazz + Jop poll is the end-all-be-all of year-end record lists. The ultimate in nerdy music romps, the alt-weekly’s annual cover story elicits the input of hundreds upon hundreds of professional music writers (including your beloved Beard) in an attempt to definitively capture the year’s critical darlings. Each participant is given a certain number of points to doll out to their “favorite” albums, and the resulting tabulations represent a closer consensus than pretty much anything else out there.
Of course, in any competition (especially when fueled by legions of cred-adorned music maniacs), there’s more at work than meets the eye. After the jump, our resident whiskerly warrior, goes at it with Voice Music Editor Rob Harvilla — who we’re told was indispensably aided by Zach Baron, Rob Trucks, and Jesus Diaz — on the decision to crown TV on the Radio king, whether style trumps substance, and how some critics try to rig the results. … Read More