Tuesday, May 12, 2009

As criticism struggles to remain relevant in the age of media bankruptcies and blogs like mine, I'm grateful that MSN cares enough to publish Christgau's Consumer Guide, despite a redesign so unwieldy that I suspect it'll appall more people instead of increasing its hit count. My discovery of the year is Wussy and their eponymous new album. If it isn't quite at the level of Shoot Out The Lights (to which Christgau breathlessly compares it, I'll claim that Wussy matches the Afghan Whigs' Gentleman in sound and fury, and Chuck Cleaver's vocals a sui generis combination of Ira Kaplan and Adam Duritz. Tender, hypersensitive, and ruthless, Cleaver's voice suits Wussy's well-shaped psychodramas, such as the opening cut, in which Cleaver tells his partner that the punctuation in her latest letter hits him like a truck. 

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