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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
The Blinding

Rating: 7/10 ?

December 4, 2006
Every once in a while Peter Doherty shows up for a Babyshambles gig. When he doesn't, fans engage in riots. Sometimes he courts the media -- like that time he shot blood out of a syringe at an MTV cameraman or when he punched a papparazi in Rome. These are the kinds of things we've come to expect from the ex-Libertine. With their last album, Down In Albion, the Babyshambles flaunted meagre production values and half a CD worth of listenable material. A year later we've got The Blinding EP and there's sincerity in all five of the tracks. Don't call it a reawakening as if it were a monumental effort. It is a solid EP with the loose instrumentation fans have come to expect.

The title-track sounds like a cut from Up The Bracket. Peter's obsession with British mythology and the like is left behind for the entirety of The Blinding and the band finally matures it's sound and Doherty proudly pronounces "On with/ on with/ on with the show." A wailing reminder of why people listen to Babyshambles; they've got immense style and clingy background vocals that stick.

Doherty once stated that he refused to pen songs for lovers. It sure does seem that way, in such a track as "I Love You But You're Green." How Kate Moss puts up with the "likely lad" is beyond me; "When she goes just let her go/ If she says she's going/ just make sure she goes make sure she goes." Obviously the intent is in opposition to romance but the bitter resonance behind Doherty's fragile existence as a "shattered" rock star gives the track somewhat of a reverse disposition. "I Love You But You're Green" sounds like a repetitive albeit enchanting taste of a pretty good single.

And so follows the rhythmic energy of "I Wish," in which Peter sings, "I wish to god I had just been stabbed." The ska reinforcement keeps the song from becoming a condescending plea for sympathy. This track in particular sticks out for it's catchy swing and the connection the band seems to have.

"Beg, Steal or Burrow" sounds nauseating with perhaps a little bit too much going on at once so that it is cluttered in a way. Not an enjoyable song due to the messy riffs cut with Doherty's scratchy voice which is trying to keep up with the wreck while Adam Ficet drives the beat a little bit too fast. The result is a mediocre song that is passable albeit a little twangy.

The last track of the EP, called "Sedative" is anti-climatic, although promising. It begins slowly and with a relaxed tone and transforms into the progression of a likeable chorus. "Sedative" is not strong enough to make or break an album, but it is an interesting enough track.

With good clarity, the Babyshambles have accomplished an EP full of songs that make sense. While that doesn't seem like a remarkable feat, when you consider a track like "Pentonville," which appeared on their last album, it's a real treat to see Doherty's bunch of Droogs cleaning up their act. Somewhat poetic in a pathetic sense as either Rock and Roll or cocaine's greatest tragedy, Peter and the "boys in the band" are looking to turn a new stone in the near future. I hate to admit it but the media frenzy certainly does detract from the album. I'm tired of hearing about Doherty, even if The Libertines were one of the greatest British bands in recent years.

Reviewed by Calvin Kemph

See other reviews by Calvin Kemph



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