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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

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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.
[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
Petracovich
Blue Cotton Skin
Red Buttons Records

Rating: 6/10 ?


October 1, 2004
If a listener is given a stack of a dozen new albums at once, and listens to them all in turn, they first dispatch the terrible ones, then praise the great ones, and then try to hunt down the one or two that seem to dodge easy evaluation.

A lot of listeners will have a difficult time evaluating Petracovich's Blue Cotton Skin. Listeners who don't immediately love or hate the mellow folk-electronic sound will find it hard to pin down an album that rarely stays in one place for long. Instruments and sounds drift up and down without signing in or checking out - most noticeably the drums' spotty attendance record in "Driving Home."

Most of the transitions aren't so easy to identify. What is, at its heart, an album characterized by a gossamer-voiced singer-songwriter, it is shrouded under layers of mild electronics and indecisive sonic shifts. The details of each song slip away as easily as a dream moments after waking, and the next time the listener picks up the Blue Cotton Skin, they can only remember fragmented bits of what it sounds like.

Reviewers can hurl adjectives at this all they want, and it's tempting to do so. To borrow a few from previous reviews of this album, the music is smooth, relaxing, cerebral, fragile, airy, dreamy, detached and moody. These are all accurate, but they are also frequently writer code words for dull and unengaging.

I stop just short of making that accusation here, because Petracovich stays just out of critical reach.

It's hard to say if the evasiveness of the music makes it difficult to listen to or only difficult to write about. It can be said there is better female folktronica being made in 2004 (CocoRosie in particular). It can be said there is better music approaching this meeting point from the electronic end (Lali Puna). It can also be said that Petracovich is very talented, musically confident and appealing despite those things. But it can further be said that those statements are evasions in and of themselves, and this review is a copout. Hopefully it has at least been an informative one.

I will recommend this to those who enjoy the more hushed tones of Sia or Cat Power, but with a heavy warning that I would (almost) call this dull music.

Reviewed by Erick Bieritz
Erick Bieritz lives in Chicago, where is usually either very hot or very cold. He was the brainchild behind EPMD, where he wrote about EPs and singles for LAS, looking for overlooked or underappreciated non-album releases.

See other reviews by Erick Bieritz

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