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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
Mary Timony
Ex Hex
Lookout! Records

Rating: 8/10 ?


May 18, 2005
I'm not sure if we, the Devoted Cult of Mary Timony, are cursed or just plain whiny. Either way, our affliction is a wonderful one to have. Most of us began our journey with our scurvy-stricken lass in the early days of Pirate Prude and the inimitable The Dirt of Luck. These were rare gifts to find: buried treasure, if you will. They recounted smutty tales of vampires, pirates, ghosts and heartache with the sort of kinetic, foreign energy that clings to your brain.

Then, we found The Magic City, which had a fuller and more medieval sound, paradoxically zooming us to a future filled with astronauts. Some dropped off there; "This is no Dirt of Luck," they cried, resigned to dwelling in their one album chambers.

From there, the faithful fewer sought solo albums, Mountains and The Golden Dove, and even more adventurers abandoned ship as Mary steered us farther and farther away from our earliest island paradise. Her imagery became more mystical, with spirits rooted deeply in trees, and those few remaining thrill seekers began to wonder if we'd ever hunt for gold together again.

Moving forward to the present day, Ex Hex was made to bring us all back together! Huzzah! While some may cluck that Mary has found her way, they are mistaken - she's always been keenly aware of it; she has simply bowed to ours for a while. Even including a literal, obvious, smack-in-the-head track called "Return to Pirates," this is what we've been hoping, following and positively whining for since first we met. It is ten years later, and while the name "Helium" appears nowhere on the cover, this is, by all means, a happy reunion with our swashbuckling fantasies.

"On the Floor" and "Friend to J.C." are sideways, by-the-throat rockers, perfect for opening the album just as "Pat's Trick" and "Trixie's Star" were. Right off the bat, we notice Ex Hex is something special, created just for us. These, in cooperation with many others like "Hard Times are Hard!" and "Backwards/Forwards" return Mary to our waiting arms with signature sounds of elastic guitars, wry witticism and punchy, skewered pop sensibilities.

While, of course, there are some diversions that recall her later works - most notably The Magic City-styled enchanted, meandering odes like "In the Grass" and "Moon Song" - the album's center of gravity lies squarely in her fans' foundational favor. This is an album so weighted in what the people want, it's hard to be anything but flattered and overjoyed.

No more do we feel lost, scratching our heads at Mary's choices - or at least, for as long as she'll indulge our pleasures, as we are nowhere near as innovative as her whims, it seems. We can't be certain if this stop at Pirate's Cove is temporary or if she's settling in, but Ex Hex is most definitely a work wrought by love and popular demand. Stop complaining, mates; take it and run with humble gratefulness, and don't forget to frolic and hopscotch wherever your wanderlust takes you.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters

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