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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
Department of Eagles
In Ear Park

Rating: 8.5/10 ?

October 22, 2008
When contemporary artists attempt to recreate the music of an era that's known for a certain style, the effort often comes off as contrived. For Daniel Rossen and Fred Nicolaus, the twosome behind Department of Eagles, evading this pitfall on their latest, In Ear Park, seems as effortless as their harmonious orchestrations.

Shortly after their first LP, 2003's daring Whitey on the Moon UK, Department of Eagles went on hiatus when Rossen made Grizzly Bear his full-time gig. In late 2007, the duo picked up their banjos and horns for In Ear Park, a sonic experiment that yields lush, artful, and somewhat disorienting pop.

Rossen and Nicolaus meld folkish indie with unconventional soul on the band's sophomore album, and what results is an expansive collection that is melodic and charmingly convoluted. The duo opts for drama with tunes that transition swiftly from wispy to threatening. "Classical Records" offers ominous stretches interspersed with powerful staccato, and the delicate "Waves of Rye" suddenly turns aggressive. Much is owed to the thumping string sections and the all-important baseline, both of which help make In Ear Park a compelling listen.

The album's subtle percussive moments - like the castanets of "Around the Bay," the chomping footsteps of "Classical Records," and the thundering snare of "Phantom Other" - give the album its memorable texture. And in regards to textures, DOE offers quite a mix: the punchy waltz of the title track; "No One Does It Like You" and its eerily soulful take on 60's R&B rhythms; the dreamy, busy circus that is "Teenagers."

In Ear Park honors the grandeur of an era long passed, one with a high regard for orchestral storytelling and meticulous detail. Without a heavy-handed disposition, Department of Eagles manages to convey the sentiment of another time while reaching a modern audience.

Reviewed by Lara Longo
Lara Longo is a writer and photographer from Brooklyn, NY. In 1989, Lara received her first CD player and album, Appetite for Destruction; ever since, music is something she has fawned over, hated on, and played loudly. Her work has also appeared in Relix and New York Cool. Lara’s interests include sharks, European television, and the Hammond B3 organ.

See other reviews by Lara Longo



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