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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
David Singer and the Sweet Science
The Stars Burn Out
Engine Studios

Rating: 6/10 ?


March 7, 2005
Although his previous efforts on Deep Elm Records were somewhat scattered, troubadour David Singer strays from that format a bit on The Stars Burn Out. He combines his son-of-Uncle Tupelo rap with The Beatles and Buffalo Tom, and while the ten-song effort is still spotty, it has its moments..

Kicking in with a little electronic dog-walk, Singer questions, "Have you ever noticed the way that some people act when there's no one watching? The way that they talk to themselves in their cars? Have you ever sat on a train and just eavesdropped on a conversation? Or wondered how strangers acquired their scars?"

Singer - of Kid Million fame - has a voice that isn't incredibly strong but it is pleasant enough, like that guy in your dorm who always carries around his guitar and sings. And, like that dorm guy, Singer is all about bleeding onto the vinyl - setting his diary to music. He is eager and earnest, but doesn't have much of an understanding of subtlety or metaphor.

The band finds a hook - usually a decent sugary guitar and keyboard mix - and Singer lays his words on topů and it's hit and miss. The lyrics on The Stars Burn Out are as scattered as his sight, ranging from "They held a fake election; it was stolen by a Texan. He had the best connection. He settled his scores with tax cuts and war. And he called it 'protection.' The system is broken," to "People are so fucking stupid, I wish you and I were the last ones alive. They're boring and ugly and selfish and crazy and jive. Life is a fight in a phone booth."

Jumping from ballads to hyper pop-rock, the album doesn't flow very well, and the best song is one that Singer doesn't even sing. The bluesy, night on the town song "Bad Babysitter" is the finest track on the album, with wonderful guest vocals. The second best cut is probably the Elvis Costello/Buffalo Tom sounding track, "Will you be Waiting There," a laid back, melodic tune - which is where Singer finds his ultimate niche.

The other 8 tracks stretch out and fill the record as an overall grab bag. The production from Brian Deck (Modest Mouse) is absolutely amazing, and tries as it might to make The Stars Burn Out feel like a big album; to its fault, though, it feels like it goes on for a long time with such a variance of song types. It hits the nail right on the head a couple times, but, unfortunately, it misses more often than not.

Reviewed by Mike Hammer


See other reviews by Mike Hammer

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