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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
Audio Explorations
Action Reaction
Eskimo Kiss Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Audio Explorations' second release absorbs the listener into a space that is both calm and rhythmic, pressing and releasing. You can listen intently or drift into slumber on your couch. Reverberating guitar chords like glass in the wind, modest use of electronic tones, and mid-tempo, steady beats give life to the straight bass lines and occasional soft vocals of James Tritten and Steven Haley. The plain name of Audio Explorations is fitting, as their music speaks for itself.

To break this release into a few standout tracks would be a violation of its strength as a tight, consistent album. However, it would not be bad to hear a single Audio Explorations song once in a while. "I Don't Wanna Be A Rockstar" is a song with a similar makeup to the two preceding tracks until a curious guitar timbre is introduced that is distorted to the fringe of white noise. Once manipulated and varied in pitch, it is a welcome addition to the established palette. "The Real World" begins with the same beat as Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean", leading in a completely different direction. "Ginnie Springs" is different in its use of robotic vocals and organs over a funky bass. If you were nodding off in this dreamlike excursion, it is the bitter scent to alert you that this album isn't over yet.

The vocal delivery may induce hypnosis, and the lyrics of "Nine Down One To Go " introduce you to your new master: "I'm the maker of your pain/I'm the hater of your ways/I'm the think- tank to kill you/I am inside your brain". Vague messages of conscious existence and struggle for peace follow, emphasizing a somewhat mystical quality. You are led, skipping among clouds of thought. If its artsiness is too scary for you, simply read the lyric sheet.

Engrossed in an aural environment, your worldly cares will fall away. While listening is a legitimate activity in itself, this is a potential soundscape for focused reading, a relaxed chat, or settling down for the night. If I had a hot tub, I think this would be one of my top choices. This music is beautiful at night, whether enjoying the cool breeze on the street or sitting in the company of lit candles in your room.

Reviewed by Lance Birch


See other reviews by Lance Birch

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