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


 » 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]


 » 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
Various Artists
Now That\'s What I Call Music! 25

Rating: 4.3/10 ?

September 12, 2007
With compact disc sales are at an all-time nadir, especially with millions of young people downloading their favorite albums in their entirety, I'm curious as to who's still buying the goofy old Now! compilations. Do the music industry suits really expect a Ne-Yo admirer to sit through Keith Urban for $12? That said, as an across-the-board enjoyer of much pop singles myself, I note that the past twelve months have boded fantastically well for three minute radio pleasure romps and in doing so agreed to give the ultimate Clear Channel mixtape a go.

This is an exercise in superfluity, as the average Lost at Sea reader doubtfully needs a reason in print to hate Daughtry's "Home." Nonetheless, Justin Timberlake and Beyonce, two inclusions in this set, are taken seriously as album artists by even us glasses-adjusting indie-rockers now, an indicator that the time is shifting from the days when punk rockers beat the shit out of the disco kids. In 2007, the punk rockers are the disco kids.

I like most everything nominated for something at this year's Video Music Awards, so I figured a pop document of now would be as good as any, and for a little bit, I was right. Songs I never felt anything for like Fall Out Boy's "Thnks Fr Th Mmrs," and Gwen Stefani and Akon's "The Sweet Escape," improve in a context where pure sugar is constantly interlocking; they ride the glorious landslide of Avril Lavigne's underappreciated brat-rally "Girlfriend," like the 8:30 spot from NBC's old Must See TV Thursdays. But then Fergie's vapid "Glamorous," stunk up the room. And Pink's "U + Ur Hand," sounded better on last year's surprisingly durable I'm Not Dead. And so it went: solid bricks like T-Pain's "Buy You A Drank," and Timberlake's "Summer Love" alternated with gooey mortar like Mims' forgettable "Like This" and Boys Like Girls' hypoglycemic "The Great Escape."

Some of the ones I didn't know sounded better than expected, like Keith Urban's surprisingly Celtic "I Told You So," where the violin revs like a new drill bit. But even those I've already forgotten. If you think ubiquitous pop is junk, wait 'til you hear its rejects: goodbye forever, Elliott Yamin. The irony is that most of the best here (focused pop and R&B rather than the just-add-water "rock" bands) come from even better albums. Really, spring for the deluxe edition of Beyonce's B'Day to get the saucy Shakira duet. There's more where that came from.

The golden exception is Carrie Underwood's epochal "Before He Cheats," a daring (xylophone on the bridge!) little tune where American Idol's best-ever discovery smashes a two-timer's four-wheel drive and slashes the tires. It's a masterpiece for country music, cheating songs, American Idol and, well, ears. It easily outclasses anything else here or on Underwood's own Some Hearts and remains in search of the perfect home. Are you better off experiencing it with four or five other easily-available good songs wading in weedable nobodies? Not for $12. This is what Soulseek was invented for. Now that's what I call quality control.

Reviewed by Dan Weiss
Dan Weiss is the music editor for LAS. Formerly an editorial intern at CMJ and creator of the now defunct What was It Anyway?, his work has appeared in Village Voice, Pitchfork, Philadelphia Inquirer, Stylus and Crawdaddy among others. He resides in Brooklyn where he enjoys questionable lifestyle choices and loud guitars.

See other reviews by Dan Weiss



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