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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.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » 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 Pieces
The Pieces
Benchmark Records

Rating: 7/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Rather than waste time writing some lame, catchy, attention getting introductory sentence, I will just cut to the meat and potatoes of this review: I don't want to use my own originality on a band that has none of its own.

Just kidding. The Pieces' self-titled album may get a review like that somewhere, from somebody who's had enough of so-called "multidimensional groups" - but not from me. Someday, I too may be a bitter reviewer, and I just might write a lead like that sometime and mean it. The Pieces don't deserve that kind of treatment. They deserve a fair and honest review, and I hope I can give it to them.

In the spirit of perfect honesty, I admit I didn't like The Pieces when I first heard them. I read their press release, which featured a review by a bald man with a beard. The bald man with the beard seemed to think The Pieces' Self-titled album was the Second Coming of Christ. This immediately gave me a somewhat jaded look at the band. I put the CD in and heard upbeat songs. The weather sucked, my mood was bad, and The Pieces were the last thing I wanted to hear. The Pieces were about to catch the wrath of my bad mood. Unfair? Absolutely. But luckily for them, I waited; I didn't write the review then. I gave them a second chance and eventually started to enjoy their music.

It's appropriate that this CD has a picture of a grapefruit on it. A grapefruit is a large, orange edible mass I enjoy on summer mornings. This CD reminds me a lot of a grapefruit. Sometimes, it just hits the spot, and other times I want nothing to do with it. The grapefruit doesn't change; I do.

The Pieces are one of many current indie bands heavily influenced by pop - not just any pop, mind you, "vintage pop". There are two vocalists, male and female (Vess Ruhtenberg and Heidi Gluck), through their end product is predominantly male. Ruhtenberg has a classically good voice, on key and competent. It's one of those voices that would be expected to be good and doesn't have a unique tone all to it's own.

From there, his lyrics aren't terrible, but are not mind-blowingly good. On the whole, they are above average, and they definitely get the job done. Like any good indie-pop group, there are a healthy amount of songs about relationships, filled with damn catchy guitars.

Gluck adds a sweet sounding voice that is at times wonderfully cynical. On "Lauren", it's painfully evident she doesn't like her subject matter. Lauren, apparently, is a bitch; what's more, we can feel it in the tone in the song, not by any lyrical insults. As a vocalist, she has the gift of being able to sound how she feels. While singing, she also plays a bass that highlights her counterpart's guitar playing quite well. This is all complemented by the R&B stylings of drummer Devon Ashley. Musically, they all seem to be kindred spirits, and for the most part, they work well together.

Tomorrow, I'm going on a road trip that takes me through open spaces in the middle of nowhere. I'm taking a few CDs along, and I suspect The Pieces will find its way into my CD player again and again. If you happen to see a longhaired dumb-ass driving around with his windows down, and you hear The Pieces blaring out from his car, don't forget to wave.

Reviewed by Nick Shea

See other reviews by Nick Shea



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