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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
Channel
Personalized
C-Side Records

Rating: 9/10 ?


October 1, 2004
You know that great feeling you get when you finally complete a really hard crossword puzzle? I'm talking New York Times Friday crossword puzzle. It feels great, doesn't it? It's that feeling of accomplishment doubled with the (let's face it) feeling of surprise at ourselves for actually being able to do it. It is one of the nicest feelings in the world, and if you've never experienced it, you should really give it a try; you won't find that feeling anywhere else, and I've never found anything to compare it to - until now.

I got that same feeling the first time I listened to this, the second full-length record from The Channel. Right from the opening static and keyboards of "Depersonalized," I was completely hooked and there was no letting go. What came after those opening seconds was the stuff of legends. The album starts off light, with light keyboards and a very faint drum beat hiding behind the wall of static, then the beat kicks in and the fuzzy bass follows and we've got magic in our ears.

These guys manage to blend electro, psychadelica and pure pop so seamlessly, it seems impossible. It's almost hard to believe my ears, even after repeated listens. It's like listening to the Olivia Tremor Control waste a holiday weekend in their basement with the Beta Band. They even manage to add in a country twinge on the danceable "Inhibition," a lovely Beatlesque ode to "June," and a spot-on cover of the Will Oldham classic "Black." I usually frown upon covers on studio albums, but this one is making me change my stance.

For fans of The Flaming Lips, The Elected, of Montreal and the aforementioned outfits, Olivia Tremor Control and The Beta Band, this record will not disappoint. Most of the songs on this record could easily stake their claim in the Song of the Year running, and I wouldn't be surprised if at least one of them winds up in my top 5. So when this Friday rolls around, and you turn to the crossword puzzle in the Times, put this record on. It can only help. Trust me, you need this record.

Reviewed by Stephen Smith
In a recent staff survey Stephen Smith included a picture of his cat, Nikolai, since he said he didn\'t have any of himself.

See other reviews by Stephen Smith

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