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[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » 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
Boduf Songs
Boduf Songs

Rating: 8/10 ?

November 3, 2005
Considering that even the most modestly sized label will have negotiated more demo materials than its poor weathered letterbox can manage, the fact that Kranky - ambient and slow-core frontrunners - were willing to release Boduf Songs on the strength of a submission alone is a remarkable feat in itself. This feat is, however, enhanced by Kranky's faith in the unvarnished form in which they received Boduf Songs: as a series of home demo recordings they saw fit to release as is; upon beholding Boduf Songs, Kranky's conviction has seemingly paid its artistic dividends.

Boduf Songs' lone identity, British-based Mat Sweet, recorded his solo demos with an acoustic guitar, some basic percussion instruments and a computer. Sweet's approach bestrides the aural dynamics familiarly associated with Kranky and the understated intimacy of the singer-songwriter. His songs - for the most part, stripped down folk numbers - are sporadically fleshed out by field recordings and string-based crescendos to adding an element of subtle intensity.

Sweet's voice fits his playing perfectly. His vocals are soft, oozing, barely drifting from their set paths. They are charming without becoming overbearing, and resist the temptations brought by self-indulgence. Sweet keeps things uncomplicated and is thus confident enough to resist littering his music with obstacles or red herrings.

The discreetly catchy "Claimant Reclaimed" or the murky tones felt during "This One is Cursed" take few listens to warm to. "Vapour Steals the Glow" is more dimensional, documenting Sweet's calm whispers and coy intensity and bringing Six Organs of Admittance to mind. Its incarnation alone conceives the possibility of a follow-up to Boduf Songs; it may form under more accommodating conditions, but we know - and I'm sure Kranky and Sweet himself know - that such luxury may not be essential.

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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