Bobby Conn, 'King for a Day' (Thrill Jockey)

King for a Day
Critical Mass
Label: Thrill Jockey

by J Niimi

Chicago rock-onteur Bobby Conn has donned many masks: ex-con financial guru, glammed-out conspiracy theorist and "antichrist," anti-Bush soul crusader. But the irony of his sixth album -- a near-operatic concept record about fantasy and delusion that begins with an electric mass Latin ("Vanitas") -- is how honest Conn's deadpan camp comes off in an age when pop's imagination is bracketed by tedious confessionals on one side and abject material desire on the other.

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