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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
Trembling Blue Stars
Seven Autumn Flowers
Bar-None Records

Rating: 5/10 ?


January 29, 2005
In my more dramatic days as a college freshman, I lived for poetry. At least that was the image I was going for. I wasn't in music or sports, so the only way to impress chicks was through poetry, I reasoned. I tried to act the part of poet laureate for my school, dressing like a cultured bum and collecting Jack Kerouac's fucked up haikus. After taking some entry level literature classes, I felt that I had a pretty good grasp of verse and started trying my hand at it. Looking back at those coffee-stained notebooks is painful, and not because what I find there are heartwarming works of a staggering genius. The poems are so bad I can hardly stomach them. I remember a time when I was proud of what I had written, but that was long ago, and now I'm left with the evidence that whining about unrequited love is best left to emo kids and Morrissey.

Thankfully, those days of maudlin lovesickness are behind me forever. I had all but forgotten that simplistic and inexperience tripe until I listened to Seven Autumn Flowers by Trembling Blue Stars. All those immature, forced feelings came rushing back with song titles that could have been the names of my shitty poems: "Sorrow Has A Way," "All I'm Doing Is Losing, "One Prayer Answered," "Further To Fall." The similarities continued as I listened closely to Bobby Wratten's lyrics on "Sorrow Has A Way:" "If I can't love you as much/At least let me love you more than enough" followed by the refrain "You're so easy to love" might have been my attempt at a sonnet had I thought of it first. This is the stuff of Hallmark cards, or worse, Hallmark Original Movies.

Lyrics usually aren't very important to me - I love everything The Silver Jews have put out, even though I can't make odds or ends of David Berman's psycho ramblings - but it's impossible to ignore them on Seven Autumn Flowers. The heartstring-tugging acoustic guitars and various electronic hums take a back seat to Wratten's vocals, which would sound pretty good if not for what he was singing. A few tracks like "Helen Reddy" and "A Beginning Of A Kind" are reminiscent of pre-Loveless My Bloody Valentine, when waves of guitars and steady drums take over, but this is the exception, not the rule. The rest of the album is too much of a tear-jerker for its own good. After 70 minutes of Wratten's quivering lip, the instrumental "One Wish Granted" comes as a relief. It's too bad more songs don't skip the sophomoric lyrics. Tinker around with your equalizer - you may be able to drown out the vocals and save the otherwise interesting CD.

Reviewed by Andy Brown
A regular contributor to LAS, Andy Brown lives in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, but doesn\'t think he has an accent.

See other reviews by Andy Brown

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