Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Go! Team

  • Thunder, Lightning, Strike [Columbia, 2005] A-
  • Proof of Youth [Sub Pop, 2007] A-
  • Rolling Blackouts [Memphis Industries, 2010] ***
  • The Scene Between [Memphis Industries, 2015] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Thunder, Lightning, Strike [Columbia, 2005]
The gleeful clamor of Today's Young People listening to what they want when they want to without paying for it and dancing around like kindergarteners at a maypole or gay guys under a mirrored ball and no offense Mr. Businessman but this is their birthright not your copyright so butt out OK? A-

Proof of Youth [Sub Pop, 2007]
Just when you're ready to give up and apply to graduate school, along comes a simple band who get everything right. True, they're not very tuneful. But they're danceable, Ninja raps plenty well enough, and have there ever been beats like Ian Parton's, with their chants and strums and melodica statements? Plus a warm-up from Sha Rock and Lisa Lee, who I hope got their checks, and a sum-up from Chuck D, who I expect secured his in advance. A-

Rolling Blackouts [Memphis Industries, 2010]
Exceeding their emotional reach, musical grasp, and conceptual limitations whether softer or more elaborate ("Apollo Throwdown," "Bust Out Brigade") ***

The Scene Between [Memphis Industries, 2015]
Having parted ways with Anglo-Nigerian Ninja, immodestly self-effacing mastermind Ian Parton recruited an international bevy of anonymous warblers for his group's/concept's fourth album, apparently on the theory that his original find had become too damn personable. None of these multicultural yet mostly white singers gets the lead on more than two songs or puts her stamp on lyrics that specialize in studied generalizations. This facelessness can be annoying, as Parton may well intend. But as he definitely intends, there's a special kind of ebullience here as well--an idealized pop ebullience I couldn't get out of my mind after getting high on the ambient estrogen of a Taylor Swift concert. A-

See Also