Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Carsie Blanton

  • Idiot Heart [Carsie Blanton, 2012] **
  • Buck Up [Carsie Blanton, 2019] A
  • Love and Rage [So Ferocious, 2021] A-
  • Wolf [self-released EP, 2022] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Idiot Heart [Carsie Blanton, 2012]
Clever gal will sell you impeccably catchy collection of coy songs about her sexual peccadillos for whatever you think they're worth ("Chicken," "Little Death") **

Buck Up [Carsie Blanton, 2019]
The unfashionably chirpy, unabashedly horny Blanton has been making albums since 2005. This one, which credits some 400 "executive producers," is easily the best--she's never been so catchy or sexy, and along with unabashed politics catchy and sexy are her flash points. The sure shot "Jacket" strikes a balance--"I like your shirt, I like your jacket/I like to think about you when I whack it" meets "We tried to have a chat, but it was too scary/You're just a Democrat, I'm a revolutionary"; the both-sides-now "Harbor" turns "Love was made for making" into "Hearts were made for breaking." "That Boy" is all lust, "American Kid" all history lesson. And then there's depression: "Bed" can't be a sex song until she stands on her own two feet nor "Battle" a politics song until she makes it through the night. So on the finale her hound dog puts first things first: "Buck up baby, cmon sic 'em/Make 'em laugh if you can't lick 'em." Which sums up her philosophy if anything does. A

Love and Rage [So Ferocious, 2021]
Her cute voice still sharpens the point on her acerbic politics. Her hyperactive libido still striates her reasonable hope that telling the truth and being kind is good for one ticket to a heaven her parents still believe in and they just might be right. And 35 ain't that old, now is it? Still, nonstop sure shots like last time would be expecting too much and she doesn't want to seem greedy. So she's happy enough to settle for "Party at the End of the World" and "Be Good," both of which say what you'd expect them to in ways you couldn't, the anti-white-supremacist "Shit List," and an unexpectedly warm closer where an occasional lay she's known and I mean carnally since she was 22 qualifies as "a love that sticks around." A-

Wolf [self-released EP, 2022]
I find it impossible not to like this woman. Generous sexually and politically in a flow so effortless the two streams feed into each other, set on pleasing a rapt audience big enough to keep her in basic creature comforts, she remains one of a kind, and the seven new songs here, six of them under three minutes, are as coyly relaxed as ever. But as she edges toward 40 I note that the character the EP is named after is big on huffing and puffing and that few would call "You're gonna die some day" a surefire sexual proposition unless convinced that day is coming sooner than they hope or believe. B+