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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
Pedro the Lion
Winners Never Quit
Jade Tree Records

Rating: 8/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Pedro the Lion's new record displays the same mature songwriting that we have come to know from David Bazan, but with a greater diversity than shown in previous records. The record's first two songs, "Slow and Steady Wins the Race," a nylon-string acoustic song in which Bazan's gentle voice guides the listener through the story he tells, and "Simple Economics," one that tells its story just as clearly, but more aggressively, represent each end of the scale for this album.

Perhaps what is most impressive about Bazan's singing is his seemingly innate proficiency as a narrator. Regardless of the subject about which he sings, he delivers, with richly detailed precision, the story at hand. On no song on is this more prominent than in "A Mind of Her Own," in which Bazan commands his subject with a voice so deep and intimidating that the fear intended for his subject becomes the listener's, too.

Musically, the record is soothing and adventurous. Clean guitar tones ring, and distorted ones remain warm and controlled while the rhythm section remains consistently solid. As the record progresses, it vacillates, but with confidence. Welcome tempo shifts abound: the slow picking of an acoustic guitar with no percussion and elements of classical guitar styles, the rapid, heavily distorted chord progressions backed by a beat that pushes forward swiftly and precisely, and the mid tempo strumming of an acoustic guitar backed by very distant percussion. Each element fits together seamlessly from song to song.

Winners Never Quit is nice to listen to in succession. It starts with pleasant storytelling, then briefly pushes the pace before moving back to the same gentle form. It bursts with high energy in "A Mind of Her Own" followed by the same energy, although less fearsome, in "Never Leave a Job Half Done" which releases the tension created by the preceding songs. It then moves back into a tranquil pace, resolving itself during the last few songs, ending precisely where it began, tempting you to listen again. And so you listen, happily, again and again.

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