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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
Blue Shade Witness
Blue Shade Witness
Double Zero Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
With their MTV-ready good looks and plentiful power-pop hooks, it's hard to believe Blue Shade Witness isn't already a modern rock radio mainstay. This four piece create sincere power-pop along the lines of Matchbox Twenty and the Goo Goo Dolls, and they harbor a definite influence from brit-pop acts such as Haven and the much-touted Coldplay.

On their eponymous debut, Blue Shade Witness present six well-produced pop tracks that never slip to either end of the emotional range spectrum. Their sound and lyrics reflect the knowledge that life isn't one huge rap-video style party, yet they refrain from wallowing in their own sorrows. On songs like "They Way it's Meant to be" Blue Shade Witness present the universal feelings of loss, love, and the desire to try harder next time as singer Joel Bennett declares, "You keep me so far away/ Believe me that I'm here to stay/…we've got to find a way."

Nevertheless, it's the opening track, "The Stars Will Shine" where Blue Shade Witness really prove their abilities. Illustrative lyrics mixed with self-doubt and introspection flow over soaring guitars. Without sounding overly commercial or mass-produced, this track has radio friendly written all over it-and in Blue Shade Witness's case, that's really not such a bad thing.

Also included on this EP is a video for "The Stars Will Shine." Disappointingly, due to my computer's incompetence and/or my own ineptitude, the thing refused to work. But if this band plays their cards right, I'm sure the video will at the least be on MTV2 in the near future. Blue Shade Witness may not be doing anything incredibly innovative or new on this album, but they happen to do it better than most of the acts already in the spotlight. And for Blue Shade Witness, that might just be enough to get them there as well.

Reviewed by Natalie B. David
A fresh graduate of the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia, in her spare time she can be found clumsily manipulating words and phrases for LAS and Beautiful/Decay magazine, hungering for sushi, naming inanimate objects or pondering the existence of stiletto heels. If you see her, you should buy her a cup of coffee because, chances are, she probably needs it.

See other reviews by Natalie B. David



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