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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
The Good, the Bad & the Queen
The Good, the Bad & the Queen
Virgin

Rating: 7/10 ?


January 29, 2007
For bottom-line types, the word on The Good, the Bad & the Queen can be condensed into "Gorillaz without much high end," a dark, bummed out trip conjuring slow-mo video shots of Damon Albarn in a dark trench coat getting closer, then, poof!, closer as a factory in the background belches filth into the sky.

But TGTB&TQ's tracks are essays on being English and simultaneously of the world, to be more precise (or existential, whatever), so to accentuate his Englishness he's brought in the Clash's old bassplayer, Paul Simonon, and, to clarify that this album is of the world, the drums, which could have been handled by anyone with jointed appendages, are assigned to Afrobeat godfather Tony Allen.

The catchiness of the tunes is measured in ambience rather than notation, sort of like Family of God on more potent downers when the songs go electro; there's sad English bop, grog-house depresso-pop, and other bric-a-brac unique to Limeys, as like a guided tour given by someone whom the state wouldn't really want giving guided tours.

Whether relayed through vocoder, stripped of effects, or buried in the mix like common Roger Waters non sequiturs, Albarn's dawdling Brit-Dylan voice accuses (or urges) his countrymen to drink because they're in a war without end, adopting the stance of a Coldplay-glossed folkie mourning for what's been lost without making any real-world suggestions on what to do about it. We're left with a brilliant, often mesmerizing but all-too-sketchy defeatist manifesto on the surface, which, with further musical fleshing-out (Verve guitarist Simon Tong is woefully underused), might have been worth serious investigation.

Reviewed by Eric Saeger
An LAS staff writer based in New Hampshire, Eric Saeger was named alt.flame\'s Newbie of the Year in 2000.

See other reviews by Eric Saeger

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