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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
Steve Spacek
Space Shift
Sound in Color

Rating: 9/10 ?

January 11, 2006
I swear I'm not doing ad work for Sound in Color. I gotta say though that Steve Spacek's Space Shift is one of the best releases of 2005, and further yet, it stands as a stronger point for urban/Neo-soul music over the last few years. From top to bottom and front to back, the album is impressive and works listeners over from angles of carefree confidence, consistency, and sensual flow.

Because of the nature of its classified genre and the relative obscurity of its release label, Space Shift was dropped on a popular audience that was mostly unresponsive. But Steve Spacek is not new to the scene and any recognition he receives at this point is not by chance. Recognition is something Spacek has earned, having made prior accomplishments as frontman/bassist/songwriter behind UK-based, electronic-minded and eponymous R&B group, Spacek. Now in incorporating his full name and subtracting the insight from his two collaborating band members, the new school soulman has become something of a different act and - to some who are really paying attention - it is for the better.

Space Shift shows more of Spacek's outright leading songwriting abilities. Even though he was credited as the main writer of his trio, Spacek is now free to present himself as the main dish, free of any accoutrement. From its start, the solo effort was composed with a conscious effort to differ from his previous collective material, and Spacek relocated from London to California to facilitate that change, recruiting powerhouse producers Jay Dee (part of Slum Village, Jaylib; has produced for Common, Q-Tip, and more) and Motown legend Leon Ware (wrote for Michael Jackson and Marvin Gaye) along the way. The resultant sound is aware of its heritage and plays equally to Jay Dee's fresh, bangin hip-hop style, Ware's vintage soul insight, and Spacek's silky smooth confidence. 'Tis a triple threat y'all.

From the second track ("Dollar") to the eighth ("3 Hrs of Fun"), there is not a down moment on Space Shift. If you go pass through the album's span without feeling it, just drop the whole thing. "Dollar" will have you culling, "Let the dollar circulate", as if you were some weird Keynesian-soulster crossover. Spacek's chorus vocal melodies are so enticing that you don't care what he is singing, it all comes out so pillow-soft.

I'm not going to tell you about how cool each song is, how a specific cut sounds as if it took influence from some artist that you're not familiar with, or how such-and-such sample was used to make that warble-y rotund bass sound. I'm too tired from busy holidays to go through all that. Instead, I will kick off 2006 with a recommendation for Space Shift, in hopes that you'll all come thanking me in December.

Reviewed by Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other reviews by Josh Zanger



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