A weekly appreciation for the art of the review.

 

“On top of that, Birdland is funny–not corny-funny or nudge/wink-funny, but absurd and sly, with a terrific sense for what can make the overfamiliar language of pornography fresh again.”

Douglas Wolk looks back on Gilbert Hernandez’s graphic novel Birdland. (This is probably NSFW.)

 

“The novel’s first lines set the tone of creepiness Ullman will sustain to the end: “I did not cause her any harm. This was a great victory for me.”

Adam Kirsch on Ellen Ullman’s By Blood for Tablet.  We talked to Ullman earlier this week.  

 

“I recently bought a book about the future of books. It’s called The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books, and features twenty-six authors (including two n+1 editors) describing what they think might become of literature.”

Robert Moor at n+1 doing his part for the sake of transparency. 

 

“It seems like a simple formula, and maybe it is, but the execution’s flawless. It also shifts subtly and continually: They mix in psychedelia, 1970s prog melodies, clean vocal harmonies, and ambient keyboards without sacrificing a certain smoked-up genre purity.”

Even if you don’t care for metal, you should still read anything Brandon Stosuy writes.  In this particular case, his review of the album Sorrow and Extinction by the band Pallbearer at Pitchfork

 

“What makes Chiddy Bang’s monotonous sound most problematic is its distinct sense of laziness.”

Leave it to the staff writer of a college periodical to write a really long piece on an innocuous “frat rap” group that reads more like a dissertation than a review.  Obviously we kinda love it. 

 

“The tonal shift between the seize-the-day chorus and the verses, which paint a bleak portrait of a night out that reads like Trees Lounge directed by Last Night’s Party, doesn’t exactly hurt matters, either.”

Maura Johnston looks at the latest album from the band Fun., which has at least one of our editors very curious. Matthew Perpetua’s take on them also intrigues.

 

“There isn’t a moment of lag here. If someone’s not being killed or beaten, they’re being shaken down, spied on, bedded or conned. The plot thickens by the jot, and the prose, though it moves faster than that of any other book I’ve read, never blurs.”

Adam Levin on James Ellroy? Yes, we will gladly read that.

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