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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
Hot Blood
Dim Mak Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
What is this music that Bluebird creates? Hard Rock, I guess... Bluebird mixes strong influences of Foo Fighters and Fugazi to make something different, but somehow the same as a whole lot of other stuff that passes for rock. Bored and boring guitars on drums with singing, going nowhere, a dull dirt brown. Why don't they just go ahead and put it on the radio? It may work as background music if played quietly. Or maybe not.

Okay, FINE, so there are actually some GOOD songs here: The first three ("Falling Back to Earth", "She's Breaking Up", and "Beautiful Believer") are pretty decent, and "Bang the Drum" works because it is upbeat in a mix of lesser rock waste. "Forms" is marked by a totally different formula of funky drums and a a super-duper bass groove with limited guitar and almost spoken verses, all before a crashing chorus of cymbals and stripped-down shouting (making it great!). And it's not over! There's an extended outro with bass and brass sounds cutting through the mix in a somewhat wispy manner. Success.

"Lillie May" is what you would expect with such a name at the end of an album, but it actually works very nicely. Soothing piano like rain droplets... ahhh... Perhaps the care that is evident in this quiet little finale underlies everything else on this disc, but they don't put themselves in the position to show it. Bluebird either needs to bring the good stuff to the surface, or else work to add the lighter instrumental work to the mix, perhaps even at the expense of the central rhythm guitar.

Of course, "Forms" and "Lillie May" should be the blueprint for their next album. That wouldn't leave much space for Wayne Kramer to make a guest appearance ("Beautiful Believer") or for the occasional successful stab at heaviness, but at least it would cut down on the lame pseudo-rock crap. Maybe I'm being harsh, but that's what you get for calling yourself Bluebird and putting red cats on the cover. Artistic license?

Reviewed by Lance Birch

See other reviews by Lance Birch



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