Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Disconnection
Weapons of Mass Entertainment/Interscope

Former Coldplay tour opener celebrates her narcissism

Hearing 25-year-old Briton Carina Round could make you wonder why there haven't been more PJ Harvey imitators. Listening to a PJ Harvey album, however, dispels the mystery. Much prettier than Harvey both facially and vocally, Round deserves credit for knowing there's more to the world than pretty, and for mustering the smarts and grit to do something about it. Her guitar-guitar-bass-drums minimalism is always tough and sometimes grand. But comparisons with the master also reveal clear shortcomings in intensity and especially dynamism. And unfortunately, her songwriting doesn't yet do justice to the sophistication or the fire she swears she craves ("Into My Blood"). She's right--"There is a lot to be said for this morbid self-attention." A lot more than this, in fact.

Blender, June/July 2004