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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
The Lodger

Rating: 7.5/10 ?

August 13, 2007
Northern England has always been a breeding ground for fine pop music. From bands like The Smiths to more contemporary acts like The Arctic Monkeys, the UK's midriff has given listeners the world over wonderful tunes based in great pop sensibilities and made memorable with melodies and lyrics.

The Lodger is the latest (certainly not the last) in a long line of bands from the North with an update for the current version of Britpop. Grown-Ups, the band's debut album, is a charming up-tempo release with more than a handful of fine pop compositions. Among the album's standouts are "Many Thanks For Your Honest Opinion," "Let Her Go," and "A Free Period," the latter of which is especially reminiscent of Swedish band The Wannadies, who had their heyday in the early 90's. Coincidentally, that lesser known Swedish act's members all migrated to London before gaining any sort of fame. Speaking of fame, another band that comes to mind when listening to the Lodger is The Smiths.

Indeed, the impact of Morrissey and Marr on Lodger songwriter Ben Siddall quite apparent. It would be best to say that the Smiths are an influence and leave it at that, as Siddall's melodies are nowhere near Marr's, and the lyrics can't be compared to Morrissey's. Which is not to say that The Lodgers songs are bad; on the contrary, they are mostly rather good. Grown-Ups is perfectly capable of providing a summer soundtrack for the moment, but The Lodger lack what it takes to become iconic. Grown-Ups is nice enough, but no one is getting goose bumps from it.

Tell you what - scratch summer and it might work better. Let's say that Grown-Ups might very well be the soundtrack to the fall of 2007. The songs have a very autumny feel to them. It makes a listener want to wrap a big scarf around their pale neck, polish the thick lenses of their dark rimmed glasses, and light up a cigarette en route to the local pub. That's how British and autumnal Grown-Ups is, a nice break for any pop aficionado worn from the hunt to find something new. The Lodger offer a nice, crisp, earthy and welcome twist to the old Britpop formula, their sound a friendlier one than many of their countrymen. These very catchy melodies smell of pumpkins and dried leaves.

June and July are done and gone. Face up to the summer's end and indulge in The Lodger as your soundtrack to the colder months to come. When the gold and saffron hues tint the British countryside, if you don't live in England you can always pop on Grown-Ups and pretend that you do. Just remember that your pants are trousers, chips are known as crisps, and a private school is called a public school and you'll do just fine.

Reviewed by Daniel Svanberg
A contributing writer for LAS, Daniel Svanberg now lives in Boston, far far away from Sweden, where he once lived, although the weather is the same.

See other reviews by Daniel Svanberg



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