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 christgau

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schmaschmastico
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PostSubject: christgau   Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:15 pm

This extravagantly brainy spiritual sexpot was made for the Fairlight synthesizer, and her beautifully crafted best-of proves it. Even the best of the old U.K. hits she strews among the tokens of her American breakthrough, 1980's "Army Dreamers," lives and dies with its lyric. But as she learns to manipulate her electronic orchestra, which took a while (cf. 1980's "Breathing"), the songs turn into compositions, so that if the unfettered emotionalism of "Hounds of Love," say, isn't your cup of tea, you're still rooting for her as she takes off her shoes and throws them in the lake. And then there's "Running Up That Hill," a woman's orgasm in 4:58.
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PostSubject: Re: christgau   Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:15 pm

Green's Gallic allusion of choice--the name of his pubbery, in fact--is "jouissance," but although he's playful and verbal enough to make it his own, he falls short in the climax department. I'd suggest a less gushy conceit: esprit. The high-relief production and birdlike tunes and spry little keyb arrangements and hippety-hoppety beat and archly ethereal falsetto add up to a music of amazing lightness and wit that's saved from any hint of triviality by wordplay whose delight in its own turns is hard to resist. Usually I suspect lyricists who refuse to be clear of never having figured out what they mean, but here the puns are so clever and incessant that they become an end in themselves. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Green knows what he wants to say.
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PostSubject: Re: christgau   Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:16 pm

Down from 48 percent to 35 at amiannoying.com, not because they're less annoying but because they're less successful. Annoying they remain, and not, annoying webmaster, because they gigged as Goat Punishment or--who cares?--lost their bass player to the Rentals. They're annoying because Rivers Cuomo is the punk Tom Scholz--a solitary genius in love with big and precise. In Boston's arena-rock, this made sense even though it was annoying. In Weezer's arena-punk (slightly more arena on this outing, and less annoying as a result), it totally misses the point, which from the Ramones to the Libertines has been to achieve concision and economy while just barely remaining erect. Onstage, that is. How Cuomo has comported himself in other areas of endeavor I haven't a clue.
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PostSubject: Re: christgau   Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:16 pm

Whether the tunes come out and smack you in the kisser or rise from the clatter like a forgotten promise, this is a tour de force melodywise, which is not to get dewy-eyed about its market potential. They'll never truly sell out until they take voice lessons--as alternarockers from Stipe to Cobain know full well, soulful strength is the pop audience's bottom line. Me, I find their eternally pubescent croaks and whinnies exceedingly apt, and though in theory I always prefer songs that aren't about music, any bunch of obscurantist jokers who can inject the words "Stone Temple Pilots they're elegant bachelors" into my hum matrix have got a right to sing the rocks.
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