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[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]

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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!
[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
Chloé
The Waiting Room
Kill the DJ

Rating: 7.5/10 ?


November 12, 2007
There's a certain ominous feeling hanging over The Waiting Room, the debut album from Chloé Thevenin, better known as DJ Chloé in her homeland of France. At times it's a dark and slightly sinister album, though the effort never truly takes off and, as the title implies, leaves the listener in limbo for far too long.

The Waiting Room begins with the title track, a quiet little vignette of repeating chimes and soft beats, a nice start, before diving into the trance-driven hallucinations of such tracks as "I Want You" and "It's Sunday." The latter, one of the album's few standout tracks, employs bluesy guitars to build a sense of tension and terror. "Around the Clock," a departure from the album's electronic landscapes with its acoustic guitar, trombone and saxophone, and a haunting ambiance of ticking clocks and ringing bells, will remind listeners of the dark worlds of Under Byen or Bat For Lashes, and is actually The Waiting Room's best cut.

But there's also a lot of filler here, what sounds like studio experiments and overzealous knob-turnings that simply aren't necessary and don't really go anywhere, such as the short "Common Cello" and the monotonous, analogous back-to-back throwaways of "No One Can Be" and "Suspended." Had Chloé left a few of these pieces in the studio and tightened up the effort, which takes more than an hour to run through its fifteen tracks, The Waiting Room may have been a more engaging experience.

The musical style of Chloé, who has also worked with Jennifer Cardini in the group Marie Chantal, has been described as a cross-breed of "dirty electro" and "German minimalism," and the minimalism is readily apparent throughout most of the album's tracks, with a stripped-down sound and short, looped melodies of a few mere notes dominating this debut. Her best pieces, however, stray from the cookie-cutter recipes of minimalist electronica, and the album would have been far more interesting with more departures along the lines of "Around the Clock." Chloé struggles slightly with her identity on The Waiting Room, going back-and-forth between the worlds of electronica and noir post-rock, and it is this schizophrenic feel that ultimately dooms the album.

Doomed it may be, but The Waiting Room is not a complete loss; there is indeed a lot to admire here. It's simply that the album, as a whole, is far too similar in feeling to its title - I kept on waiting and waiting for something amazing to emerge, but instead found myself lulled far too often into near-unconsciousness. Chloé has much potential, and if she can reconcile her roots as an electro-DJ with her talent to produce spine-tingling non-electronic tracks such as "Around the Clock," she'll certainly be an artist whose work is well worth waiting for.

Reviewed by Eric J. Morgan
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Eric J. Morgan is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Colorado. He has an orange cat named Nelson and longs for the day when men and women will again dress in three-piece suits and pretty dresses to indulge in three-martini lunches and afternoon affairs.

See other reviews by Eric J. Morgan

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