Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Last year Atlanta's Organized Noize cartel completed its campaign of hip hop conquest with OutKast's acclaimed and best-selling Aquemini. But in a world where new albums often gestate for years, the Dirty Southerners worried the world might forget them. Hence the undeniable Big Boi & Dre Present . . . OutKast greatest-hits collection (Arista). And hence . . . Even in Darkness (Arista), in which OutKast, Goodie Mob, and such allies and satellites as Backbone, Witchdoctor, and Bubba Sparxx coalesce into the newly dubbed Dungeon Family. Between its infectious spirit and its singular sonics, this impressive stopgap cements Organized Noize's claim to reincarnate Parliament-Funkadelic. Amid a profusion of excellent rappers, the vocal standout is Goodie Mob's high-voiced Cee-Lo. But as with P-Funk, the real star is an instantly identifiable groove as welcoming and complicated as any verbal interaction.

On her second album, Missundazstood (Arista), Philadelphia's Pink proves herself a woman among girls. An MTV staple whose commercial turf is teenpop, Pink collaborated for many of these songs with Linda Perry of the long-gone 4 Non Blondes. It's her strength and our luck that she dominates a rock move clearly initiated so she could write midtempo personal meditations, an approach she brings off with gratifying candor and pungency.

Playboy, Dec. 2001

Nov. 2001 Jan. 2002