Review by Robert Christgau
The Record by Boy Genius
The Record is the first full length album from indie supergroup Boy Genius and the follow-up to their 2018 6-song EP
Boy Genius are – from left to right (on the left) – Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy DacusCONTENTS
- PLAYLIST: The Record on YouTube and Spotify
- REVIEWS: Check out Metacritic (the album earns an aggregate rating of 90) to link to 26 mostly favourable reviews from publications like The Guardian, The New York Times, Exclaim, MOJO, Rolling Stone and more
- WIKIPEDIA: Robert Christgau: an intriguing synopsis
Christgau: The Dean of American Rock Critics (Jane Bruce photo)
ROBERT CHRISTGAU ON BOY GENIUS
Noone writes about music like veteran critic Robert Christgau. For readers and fellow music journalists that’s both a good and a bad thing. The 81 year-old, self-described Dean of American Rock Critics is blunt about his biases.
In the more or less monthly Consumer Guide he’s written since 1969 Christgau opines in concise one paragraph pronouncements on the music of the day. He was an early promoter of hip hop, rap, riot grrrl and African music’s introduction to the west. He has no time for heavy metal, salsa, art rock, bluegrass, gospel and more. His politics have consistently been leftist and pro-feminist.
I’ve been an enthusiastic subscriber to his monthly And It Don’t Stop column started in 2019 and which includes a monthly Consumer Guide. I encourage you to check out his work.
Every so often I like to alert readers to this imperfect and brilliant music journalist by sharing his take on a new and popular album worth knowing about. Today’s feature is The Record – the first long player by the talented all-woman trio Boy Genius.
(Illustration by The Cavalier Daily)
12 MEMORABLE FIRST-PERSON SONGS
“Flat-out sopranos committed to articulate songwriting“
Boygenius: Boygenius EP (Matador ‘18) Shelve this determinedly quiet, occasionally sharp-tongued introduction posthaste or it may waft away on the next stiff breeze (“Stay Down,” “Salt in the Wound”) **
Boygenius: The Record (Interscope) Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus are all flat-out sopranos committed to articulate songwriting, crystalline pronunciation, moderate tempos, and rocking out when circumstances require. Although two of them were raised strictly Christian, all three are now staunch leftists who identify lesbian or bisexual without being ideological about it or claiming their love lives are hunky dory. Quite the contrary—quite a few of these 12 memorable first-person songs navigate stumbling relationships, awkward road trips, failed post-breakup patch jobs, or reflections on a rapidly receding past. There are awkward meetups in dive bars and quasi-confessional karaoke sessions; there’s one where a prospective partner warns “I might like you less now that you know me so well” and another that simply admits that the singer might be “Writin’ the words/To the worst love song you ever heard.” But they have a sense of humor and never stop trying, so that something in the committed intelligence of their music makes you feel they’re going to get where they’re trying to go if they haven’t arrived already but don’t know it yet. A
~ Robert Christgau
20 May 2023