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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
The 101
Green Street
Limekiln Records

Rating: 5/10 ?

March 28, 2005
After a five-year hiatus, 2005 is the year of Eric Richter's musical homecoming. With Christie Front Drive - who began breaking hearts across the American Midwest in the mid-90s, and later with Antarctica - Richter helped fashion a distinct sound that would provide the emo-rock benchmark for its succeeding luminaries. While their genre embraced simplicity, its beauty resided in its own vulnerability, or, as the sleeve notes from Christie Front Drive's split with Boys Life declares, the bands' ability to "wear their hearts on their guitars". Without trying to conjure up any stereotypes, it would provide a safe haven for neo-Salinger kids who were into keeping diaries and wearing thick-rimmed spectacles.

However, as times change people change. The confusion that characterises the teen age begins to work itself out with maturity, and evidently music can provide a useful medium for its documentation. Although documentation of Richter's musical ventures has been sporadic, they mark a clear progression from heartbroken ambiguity to self-assurance - the latter being demonstrated in the form of The 101.

Green Street, the 101's debut full-length, exemplifies a direct approach to songwriting. It conforms to strict regularities and thus barely drifts from its set path - one that is defined by almost uniformly structured verse-chorus relationships. Despite glimpses of Richter's musical adolescence being caught during the starkly honest opener "Never In", or the nonchalant "Fucked up Job", The 101 seem adamant to refine themselves.

As a result, Green Street comes across as characterless. Not only is it devoid of the audacity that might otherwise make it interesting, but, lacking charm and buoyancy, it simply isn't catchy enough to leave a lasting impression. Although they have objectively written an album of simple and yet energetic pop songs, The 101 have inadvertently filtered out any inherent charisma, leaving themselves lifeless, and the listener indifferent.

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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