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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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 » 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!
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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
In Motion
The Militia Group

Rating: 8/10 ?

April 11, 2005
I had my worries. Copeland's debut, Beneath Medicine Tree, was one of the most beautiful and elegant releases of 2003, and although it had room for improvement, the band could have just as easily been ensnared into the sophomore slump.

Luckily In Motion is equally as promising as the Atlanta-based band's first effort. Working without a sufficient theme this go-round (Beneath Medicine Tree centered itself around the hospitalization of someone close to singer Aaron Marsh) In Motion lacks the cohesion of their previous work, but many of the songs stand strong on their own and indicate the band's maturing songwriting prowess.

Whereas some tracks on Beneath Medicine Tree sounded too mainstream and neglected, the new set is more confident and polished. Marsh's ability to state the ordinary in a mostly unheard way also remains one of the strongest draws to the album. Even without such emotional ties to work with, Marsh is still as lyrically revealing as ever. Most tracks tackle the same love-song fare as most of Beneath Medicine Tree, but with a greater sense of reality, if not intensity.

The first two tracks, "No One Really Wins," and "Choose the One Who Loves You More," are both as much about ending relationships as they are about the adoration within them. On the former, Marsh bitterly sings, "I never meant to make you want to leave/but go if you want/make your way straight to the door," without the clinging neediness that would've been nuanced by any emo group. Marsh's croon could easily sound whiny and irritating, but instead it stands forcefully in emotional depth, despite its soft tone.

But the album isn't without its missteps, and "Kite" is a big one. Most of the advances on In Motion add to the sound of the record, but this song misses the mark. The attempts to make the track sound antiquated simply create a superficial atmosphere that sounds like a cross between the crazy amusement park at the beginning of Silent Hill 3 and an abandoned movie theatre. The song falters lyrically as well, with a childish metaphor comparing a couple's love to a kite and pair of scissors. Even the placement of this song - right in the middle of the album - hurts the overall impression of In Motion, but luckily, the remaining songs are worth sticking around for.

In Motion may not live up to my heightened expectations, but it's still a damn good pop record that manages to stray from the predominantly emo trappings of the band's debut. It shows Copeland growing as a band, as well as songwriters, and will no doubt widen the spotlight cast upon them.

Reviewed by Natalie B. David
A fresh graduate of the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia, in her spare time she can be found clumsily manipulating words and phrases for LAS and Beautiful/Decay magazine, hungering for sushi, naming inanimate objects or pondering the existence of stiletto heels. If you see her, you should buy her a cup of coffee because, chances are, she probably needs it.

See other reviews by Natalie B. David



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