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LITERATURE

 » 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
Ruth
Secondhand Dreaming
Tooth & Nail

Rating: 6/10 ?


June 21, 2007
Typical story. Typical album. Musician [Insert Name Here] moves to Los Angeles to make good on his dreams of being a rock star and finds himself learning lessons he never expected. Said musician then hits a downturn before ultimately finding the cliché happy ending with other downtrodden souls who also took the same well traveled road to rude awakenings in L.A.. In this instance, the musician is Dustin Ruth, vocalist of the aptly-named (perhaps in a nod to Eddie Van Halen, Jon Bon Jovi, and Don Dokken) band, Ruth, who have cobbled together their debut album for Seattle's Tooth & Nail Records.

Secondhand Dreaming starts with an almost blatant nod to Switchfoot on "One Foot In, One Foot Out," a track with solid, straightforward guitar work combined with positive harmonies. And from there, Ruth doesn't really venture far from their chosen path. Occasionally, the band picks up an acoustic guitar ("Mr. Turner") or borrows a Euro-rock build from across the sea ("Well With Soul") and, with that, Ruth shows the ability to tread a bit of unfamiliar ground.

But, alas, those afterthought flourishes are the only promise of anything out of the ordinary to be found on this otherwise derivative release. Secondhand Dreaming is not bad, but it's not that good either. Ultimately Ruth drowns in the sea of whitebread modern rock it decided to swim in.

Reviewed by Matt Conner
A contributing writer, Matt Conner lives in Anderson, Indiana.

See other reviews by Matt Conner

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