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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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 » 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
In the Light of the Sun
In Music We Trust

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
The Bellrays are supposed to be one of the best bands in Los Angeles. I don't know if that means anything to you, but I'm just putting it out there.

A mélange of rock, pop, and soul, the band's sound is surely a different one than indie-rock fans usually hear. They are strikingly original for what you might be used to hearing, and, according to many critics, it doesn't end there. Not only unique, the band is critically acclaimed as well.

So here we have their new album, which is actually their debut, just released in digitally re-mastered form). I had never actually listened to the BellRays before, so I was interested to hear their sound. But once I listened to In the Light of the Sun the first time, through, I'm sorry to say I was deeply disappointed. If this is L.A. Weekly's vote for L.A.'s best rock band two years in a row, I am quite happy I don't live there.

I'll hand it to Lisa Kekaula, though, she has a great, soulful voice, as can be heard on "Wandering Spirits" and "Footprints on Water," but the BellRays are not doing anything incredible on this album. In the Light of the Sun has a definite L.A. sound, maybe that's what I'm not into so much, but I think it would have been a lot better if it was a little harder, something that could hold your attention for at least 8 out of 12 songs.

But that is actually the album's saving grace. Keep in mind this is just a digitally re-mastered version of their first album, recorded over ten years ago. I've heard that after this album the BellRays showed a little more oomph in their music. Kekaula now exhibits more machismo, in a somehow female sense, obviously.

So I don't know. If you're looking to buy a BellRays album, you might want to pick up what comes after In the Light of the Sun and work your way backwards if you hope to get anywhere.

Reviewed by Jeanette Samyn
A contributing writer for LAS and a former music director WBAR at Barnard College.

See other reviews by Jeanette Samyn



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