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 » 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
Christopher Willits
Plants and Hearts
Room40

Rating: 7.5/10 ?


December 5, 2007
Christopher Willits is one of those enigmatic individuals who can seemingly morph between distinct guises in an instant. One minute he's dropping sumptuous, downbeat electronica for the hip Ghostly International label, the next he's dabbling with the post-classical meanderings of Japanese composer Ryuchi Sakamoto. Circle back to the fall of 2007 and it is Aussie imprint Room40's turn for the privilege of presenting Willits' latest works to the world. In line with Room40's limited edition series, Plants and Hearts incorporates a single track, albeit one that spans an impressive 20-odd minutes. Indeed, Willits is in good companyin the Room40 stable, with some past contributors to the series including Taylor Deupree and Richard Chartier. Purists with a nose turned up to anything other than such big names won't get far doubting Willits' credentials, as it is clear from the first few flickers of sound that he was well schooled to table Plants and Hearts.

And a schooling is what the release would be, if educating listeners meant sticking to the recent past and playing it straightforward and safe. The solitary track on display is remarkably simple; perhaps "micro-scape" would be an apt expression. Willits' guitar shimmers between chords, building and dissolving as it forages about the aural spectrum, bringing to mind Stars of the Lid at their least conscious. The variation is minimal, but Plants and Hearts is not about immediacy in the same way as Surf Boundaries - released last year by Detroit's Ghostly International - but rather shares more in common with ambient music than vaguely dance-compatible electronica. Plants and Hearts is a slow-moving wander, breathing life into the simplest of sounds and allowing it free range to move as it wishes.

Christopher Willits has a musical compulsion that clearly yearns for diversity, and Plants and Hearts is a product of this. This neat little release may be the most straightforward output we'll hear from Willits, but it'll also likely be the most refined. Those of us already acquainted with Surf Boundaries will be hoping that more expansive material from Willits isn't far from seeing the light of day, but will be more than satisfied if he continues to drop dapper little experiments like Plants and Hearts while his ideas churn.

Reviewed by Mike Wright
A staff writer based in London, England, Mike Wright is eternally troubled by the American bastardization of the English language.

See other reviews by Mike Wright

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