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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
Audra Kubat
Since I Fell in Love with the Music
Times Beach Records

Rating: 6/10 ?

June 3, 2005
Audra Kubat's 2003 debut, Million Year Old Sand, had no glaring faults, but neither did it have enough brilliant aspects to give it much staying power. It was nice enough while it was on, but it didn't present enough of a voice to cause me to long to hear it.

With her second LP, Kubat is beginning to find that voice. Since I Fell in Love with the Music is sharper, catchier and more ambitious than its predecessor, suggesting Kubat will soon have something to say to all of us if her lyrics can catch up with the musical strides she's made.

As memorable as this new batch of songs is, and as admirable of a job as Kubat does employing colorful instrumentation with just a hint of an edge, she still comes dangerously close to Top 40 banality. She handles her narratives of romantic troubles and female empowerment clumsily, resorting to ready clichés, rarely rounding out her characters, and using each verse's story simply as a means of arriving at the chorus's "message." On songs like "Rise Up," feeble upbeat guitar pop magnifies her lyrical shortcomings and places her awfully close to the Michelle Branches of the world.

Kubat is at her most interesting when she's emulating her major influence, Joni Mitchell. Like Mitchell's, Kubat's voice longs to flitter away from predictable pop melodies and her stronger songs pivot on this notion as the music's melodic lines become more abstract and lithe to give her voice plenty of room. Similar explorations to these would serve Kubat and your CD player's skip button quite well.

Reviewed by Phillip Buchan
A one-time music director at WUOG in Athens, Phillip is into college radio, literature, writing, buying records, going to shows, talking to friends, learning -- pretty much the same stuff that all of us priveledged, (pseudo?)intellectual Americans are into.

See other reviews by Phillip Buchan



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