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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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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 October
Bye Bye Beautiful

Rating: 7.5/10 ?

February 7, 2007
A band like The October sticks out for all the wrong reasons. There are really no sonic elements to lend prominence to their music; instead they seem to be a run-of-the-mill unsigned four-piece. Guitars? Check. Drums? Yep. Lemme guess... Bass and vocals? Yawn.

However, picturing The October in the manic sea known as college/indie rock, where every other run-of-the-mill unsigned four-piece clamors for the attention of media and fans alike with gimmickry and eclectic tendencies just for the sake of including gimmickry and eclectic tendencies, a quartet like this is actually a welcome sound. To their credit, The October know exactly who they want to be and they pursue it undeniably well.

Bye Bye Beautiful finds The October exuding a veteran craftsmanship that few bands ever achieve and, considering that they recorded the album in a home studio (in Kentucky of all places), the quartet attains a polish that is somewhat remarkable. All the right elements are there to make impressive comparisons to bands like The Police, The Church, INXS and the like without stretching the truth.

The opening synth chords of "Through The Waves and Stars" thrust the album into the 80's UK sound that characterizes the rest of Bye Bye Beautiful. Guitarist Ryan Cain pays homage to his boyhood idols as much as he can without resorting to mimicking what's already been done, showcasing memorable riffs on "Sending Echoes" and "Gravity". Given the cyclical nature of musical trends, both songs could be singles in 1987 or 2007.

There isn't really a blatant misstep to be found here, which is a rarity for an unsigned band with a name like The October. Normally, a band in their perch simply hopes to show enough promise to catch the ear of someone able to hand them a budget and the keys to a proper studio. Instead, with Bye Bye Beautiful the quaret has delivered an album that, however low-budget, stands as tall as anything on the local shelves without having to being clever or ironic.

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

See other reviews by Matt Conner



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