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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
Bleu
Redhead
Columbia Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Man, I do despise credibility from mainstream outlets. When Low was featured on a Gap Christmas ad, I felt secretly ashamed for them. I want my favorite acts to be successful, but I don't want them to be wearing designer mittens. Is that so wrong?

The fact that Bleu's bio mentioned he'd been picked up on the Spider-Man soundtrack, that he was a part of the in-store programming at Urban Outfitters, and that he's being paraded on campuses by AT&T Wireless (hey, ho, cell phone), I already turned a deaf ear to what might be approaching. But, for fairness, let's retract all that and be friends.

Andy Sturmer of Jellyfish is a collaborator on this album, and it shows from the very first cut. "Get Up" is a rocky cut of pop that feels like Supertramp, but with some aggressive call-outs and forceful, top 40 radio flavored guitars. For my money, I'd take the sophisticated goofiness of Jason Falkner any day, and while their styles of music are admittedly similar, an important tone of sincerity is missing from Redhead.

Redhead is guitar-driven power pop made for the radio, and as such it's very polished and overripe. It's well-planned, unwittingly bouncy, and unafraid to put the emphasis on "power" over "pop", but the coats of gloss often cover the emotion inside. On one hand, it is fairly primed, radio-ready rock, but it is not inclined to those who need to think and feel while they listen. The songs are full of ease and enthusiasm, with hooks and crunchy guitars both present, but there's no real life.

"Somethin's Gotta Give" is the closest approximation of an unfeigned ballad on the album, slowing things down to a 70s rock-inspired grind - but despite passionate vocals, it just sounds maudlin and heavy-handed. This seems to be Bleu's greatest curse, that he can make it look too easy, to the point where it feels phony. And so, I can stand by my claim that praise from certain sources doesn't attribute a lot to my personal fandom. Succinctly, I find Redhead to be an inoffensive piece that is all polish and little heart.

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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