The nu sincerity - Page 3

If you prick ’em, they bleed

(Even if nothing rivals the Chi-Lites' twangy begging throughout the classic "Oh Girl," surely that's in the wings for next year?)
With all its grating and grillz, hip-hop has reached its end point and become not a revolutionary social force but a genre full of sucka MCs I cannot relate to. Cee-Lo and Boots (via Pick a Bigger Weapon's humorous sociopolitical commentary) have taken their stands at a very crucial moment. Above all, St. Elsewhere is a vital sign of the times.
That the war and a multitude of social ills have not frozen any of the artists cited above seems miraculous. That they foregrounded introspection and personal transformation in their work rather than simply abdicated as fugitives from the turmoil of these dark days is as close as any damsel in distress is likely to get to emotional rescue in 2006. Yes, with politicians masked and callow and other art forms muted by material glut, these knights in sonic armor are just about the only effective soothsayers for the way we live now. SFBG
•Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere (Downtown)
•Solomon Burke, Nashville (Shout Factory)
•John Legend, Once Again (Sony)
•Alejandro Escovedo, The Boxing Mirror (Back Porch)
•The Coup, Pick a Bigger Weapon (Epitaph)
•Bobby Bare Jr.'s Young Criminals Starvation League, The Longest Meow (Bloodshot)
•Dears, Gang of Losers (Arts and Crafts)
•Karen Dalton, In My Own Time (Light in the Attic)
•Cassandra Wilson, Thunderbird (Blue Note)
•Centro-Matic, Fort Recovery (Misra)

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