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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
So L'il
Revolution Thumpin'
Goodbye Better

Rating: 5.5/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Truth be told, my knowledge and appreciation of hip hop is horribly, horribly lacking. It's a fact that, quite honestly, makes me feel old when I turn on the radio. I'm under the loop, I guess, too far underground in my little indie pop cubbyhole to keep abreast of things. About the only hip hop artist I know I like is Ms. Dynamite, so when I received So L'il, replete with promises of "thumpin'," I was hoping for more of that.

While I could simply say "no luck" when it comes to that comparison, that wouldn't be quite true; despite my somewhat unfair pre-judgments, So L'il isn't purveying hip hop at all. While some of Revolution Thumpin' is influenced by that genre, it comes more from the same world of Mirah, Nedelle and the Busy Signals.

Beginning with the title track, we're treated to some electro-twee Double Dutch rhymes - sing-songy, a little chintzy, but fairly heartwarming. Revolution Thumpin' is chipper, but with enough credibility to keep it grounded.

I shouldn't get too far ahead of myself, though - there's still plenty to work on here. Some of the club crowd-targeted dance beats are too slow to move to if not seriously fatigued - while "Feed the Pain" is breezy and dreamy, its thumping sprawl misses its aim. "Agitated" is far too cutesy and rinky dink, dialing up the electro-pop to annoying levels. And "I'm Bored, Wanna Fuck" could hardly be better named, as it instills a great restlessness with its plodding pace.

Still, the redeeming moments of Revolution Thumpin' make up for these missteps with promise. The best tracks, including the clear standout, "Swell," have an air of trip-hop to them, touching on fond memories of Portishead in measures of cool, gauzy harmonies. The unfortunately-named "Fuck Them Hordes of Aliens" is also quite good, picking things up with dreamy, Bjork-inspired tangents and crashing industrial beats.

It seems, as a band, So L'il is most intimidating when raising the stakes and heightening the drama. For every "Indispensable" - which, consequently, feels like Wolfie trying to act "street" - there's an oddball, Beck-friendly junk-hop number like "De Apocalypso" or a shimmering, Brit-pop homage like "The Great Uplifting." Once So L'il swings those numbers more in their favor, they can drop adding Zs to wordz, because they'll have found a better hook.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters

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