Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • Slugger [Carpark, 2016] A-
  • Haunted Painting [Carpark, 2020] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Slugger [Carpark, 2016]
Four years late, I learned that Speedy Ortiz headwoman Sadie Dupuis also helms what's oft slotted a pop project. This 2016 debut had the misfortune of coming out three days after Trump's first and we hope only coup, but that's no excuse for missing a feminist coup: 11 first-rate songs that combine noise and tune and cut sharp wit with deft indirection. Standouts include "Get a Yes" on the erotics of consensual sex, "Just a Friend" on a guy she talks to when stressed, "Tell U What" on the "chump wages" of being some abusive bigshot's assistant, and a finale propelled over the top by a 16 from Samuus, a rapper I never heard of. A-

Haunted Painting [Carpark, 2020]
Confused as to what exactly distinguishes Sad13 from Speedy Ortiz, I propose that Sadie Dupuis stick with the Ortiz moniker because it's catchier while touring with whoever and whatever makes sense to her when that's finally possible again. I also propose that the band be sure to serve the musical needs of this hookfest, where almost every song is set on "chasing the ghost of a good time" no matter what it's "about." The mood is whoops-I-turned-30 anxiety from climate change to "first time someone I slept with passed." But as with Pavement, a forebear guitars or no guitars, what it's about is ultimately itself. A-