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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
The Elected
Sun, Sun, Sun
Sub Pop

Rating: 7.5/10 ?


March 15, 2006
2006 is the year for the members of Rilo Kiley to divide and conquer. Sun, Sun, Sun sounds more like a Rilo Kiley album than 2004's More Adventurous, as it recaptures the country charm of Take-Offs and Landings and the fullness (and humbleness!) of The Execution of All Things.

Each of the tracks herein are multilayered, in that they're not meant to be taken as straight sound - even though a simple listen would be grand in its own right. Beneath broken lullabies and buzzing undercurrents, there are notes of humor and hope. Likewise, under sparkling pop flourishes are often found the album's most cutting lyrics, which chip at the harmonious façade with relentless introspection. While the sound itself might be instantly pleasing, the complexities of Sun, Sun, Sun are what make it so rewarding.

In contrast with its shimmering sound, the lonely insight of "Fireflies in a Steel Mill" can catch you off guard: "Ideas that never got finished…/That's what we are". As a heartbreaking highlight, it still gives off the air of light pop, with an ache in the heart and a twinkle in the eye. Continuing with the implied irony, the title track is easily one of the most sunless on the album; it's like sitting in an airtight basement with a tape recorder. Some tracks, like "Desiree", are bleak to the point of recalling the earliest works of Conor Oberst, in that the darkness can be overwhelming; however, to Blake Sennett, resilience is never far from sight. While the reflection on the album belies the naïveté of its title, its cynicism is always tempered with a flicker of human kindness.

Even when co-Kiley Jenny Lewis makes guest appearances on tracks "Fireflies in a Steel Mill," "The Bank and Trust" and the wrenching "It Was Love", she never steals the show. The Elected is Blake Sennett's creation, and he has the most astute and hard-won moments on the album. The sly doo-wop hilarity - taking pot-shots at bad decisions, R&B and the combination thereof - rises to certain stardom. In kind, the dreamy and unapologetic "I'll Be Your Man" responds to pain with cheeky lyrics like "you don't have to go and die". In addition, the impressive instrumentation throughout the album - concluding with the perfectly chintzy banjo closer, "At Home (Time Unknown)" - shows his range of ability, vision and scope, proving Sennett is able to succeed on every level he creates.

Blake Sennett's second album with The Elected is more magical and limitless than his first and reminds us why we love his projects in the first place. If given the choice, Sun, Sun, Sun would be a template for what Rilo Kiley should sound like when they regroup. It is a return to greatness.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters

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