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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]

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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.
[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
Six Organs of Admittance
School of the Flower
Drag City Records

Rating: 8/10 ?


June 21, 2005
Call me ignorant - call me a bastard - but the first few times I listened to School of the Flower nothing really struck me. After a while, however, I started to appreciate and become attached to the general sound of the album as a whole, as opposed to my normal 'singles' route of getting to know a disc.

No matter how hard I try to come up with a perfect description, the only word that comes to my mind about this album is the word "elusive". Yes, School of the Flower evades me, like most times I seek definitive answers about complex things. In that vein, it's nice to just let music linger - let it drift by as you take the time to listen; this is certainly the kind of album for that sort of observational enjoyment.

Generally I could go the normal way of explaining the sound of the band, a few names of influences and then something about "(seemingly) barren mountainous soundscapes" or "walls of dissonance, soundscapes that enrapture" or "ghastly evocative soundscapes" - you get the general idea. Such is not the case here, as descriptions fall short of the experience.

Still, as I must: slightly hushed and lingering moments fill tracks such as "Words for Two"; the vocals in have a character that is strangely familiar, echoing a poignant grace. "Home" begins with a slow strum and gathering haziness, making way for serenading vocals and gently peaks in a striking disharmony near the end. The track arrangement on the album echoes the characteristics of each song, never diverging from careful measure, maintaining of counter-points and its meticulous dynamic.

As a reviewer, I think it is kind of expected of me to put my finger on the intricacies of a particular album; School of the Flower does not allow that - it continues to bloom in its own unpredictable way. It makes a stunning case for a silent nod of the head: sometimes it's good enough to enjoy an album, taking it take it all in as it comes, without attempting to articulate its majesty.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters

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