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 » 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.
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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
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Tapes 'N Tapes
The Loon

Rating: 9/10 ?

April 4, 2006
Every year there are a couple of records released that I fall in love with fast and hard. They are albums I have on hand at all times, be it on the stereo at home or in my iPod for riding the train to and from work. These albums make my days and nights fly by because I get caught up in the wonderful sounds that lie within them. Although generally populated by new releases, there have been times when an older album finds its way into this category as well, such as the Modern Lovers' eponymous album. When I was introduced to that four years ago I listened to it until my burned copy stopped working. Needless to say, this new Tapes 'N Tapes album is the first must-listen record of the year.

I've heard a lot of people compare these guys to Pavement and Wire, but I don't really hear it. I suppose it's the lyrics, but when I first put in The Loon my immediate reaction was to think that it sounded Tangiers, and the comparison doesn't stop there. Tapes 'n Tapes make a little more complex musical arrangement and have a bit of a different style, but there is a similarity between the two bands. Where Tangiers focuses on keyboard driven songs, Tapes 'N Tapes use a multitude of instruments and sounds to create a broad aural canvas for their full-length debut.

The Loon kicks off with the jangly and fun "Just Drums." It's an upbeat, jazz-influenced tune with a catchy chorus and smooth musical flow. Normally I hate jazz and rarely do I make such comparisons, but this song moves up and down tempo so seamlessly that I can't help but notice the jazzy feel of it. The drums are the standout part of this song, however, and when the bass kicks in at the bridge, you get an idea of what lies in store with The Loon.

"The Iliad" steps up to the plate next and carries with it a feel-good late night croon. Another instance of jazz inspired music, the woodwind samples and repetitive "Show me, show me, show me" lyrics make for one heck of a bubbly springtime song that is refreshing and cool as ice. Very different from the album's opener, Tapes 'N Tapes begin "the Iliad" with a wide musical foundation, filled with strong song-structures and fun, experimental levels.

"Insistor" is one of the greatest songs I've heard this year. Though this record was self-released late last year, it is just hitting indie radars now. This fast paced, high-energy rock and roll song is perfect and has been placed at precisely the right point in the running order of tracks, and from there The Loon only gets better.

The opposite of "Insistor" is the song "Omaha," which has a hushed, mellow tone filled with brushed drums and a background piano lull. A beautiful song within a near-perfect album.

I realize it's early in the year, but we're at the end of the first quarter so I can say - without hesitation - that this will be in my top 10 of 2006, even if it was released in 2005.

Reviewed by Bob Ladewig
Having been introduced to good music by his sister in the early years, Bob Ladewig has been searching out all the best in indie music ever since. He also rides a skateboard and performs/directs comedy shows and, like all great men, he\'s afraid of really growing up.

See other reviews by Bob Ladewig



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