Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Sudan Archives

  • Athena [Stones Throw, 2019] A-
  • Natural Brown Prom Queen [Stones Throw, 2022] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Athena [Stones Throw, 2019]
Cream all over FKA Twigs's intermittently beatwise ogloudoglou if that's your idea of class. I'll take the less extruded pretensions of a violin-wielding, LA-based Cincinnati expat nee Brittney Parks, who after two experimental EPs that half-evoke her musical moniker unassumingly exploits the time-tested tunelets and classy sound effects classical training can be good for and identifies most African on a song she says is an Irish jig. Her sweet, sometimes murmured vocals the main attraction, she documents or evokes an emotional life that is sometimes also a sex life on 10 unobtrusively beatwise songs, three interludes, and a demo. She's growing and you can hear it. You root for her. A-

Natural Brown Prom Queen [Stones Throw, 2022]
Cincinnati native turned Black L.A. ethnomusicologist Brittney Parks had the extra sass to send this impressively pancultural array of Afrocentric tracks she'd created to an array of producers and then sequencing whatever combinations struck her ear and fancy into an atmospheric whole. Lyrics are sometimes collegial and sometimes gangsta, sometimes romantic and sometimes domestic, sometimes metaphysical and sometimes sexual, sometimes civilized and sometimes grotty. They leave open such questions as what exactly happened in Amsterdam and the likely intentions of her roughneck cousin in Chicago. The whole sounds pretty great and also pretty atmospheric. What it all means remains to be determined, which isn't to lay any bets that that consummation will ever be reached. A-