Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Hamell on Trial: The Pandemic Songs [Saustex, 2020]
This selection of nine of the voice-and-guitar pieces Hamell composed one a day over the two weeks preceding a home Facebook concert strikes quickest at its most comic: the opening "Gonna," which is short for "I'm gonna die," or the improvised "This Is a Hamell Show," which lists all the reasons a father in Finland shouldn't be imposing Hamell on eight-year-old Ruth ("Did I mention drugs yet?/I'm sure I will"). But they wouldn't mean much if "All the Things I Miss" and "My Little Camus" weren't so in love with life that they decline to joke around. Much. A-