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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
The Speed Of Not Being Lost
Flaccid Rock Records

Rating: 8.5/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Outside it is pouring rain. It's probably best to stay inside where it's warm and dry and you can stare out the window, lost in thought, wondering about nothing in particular, just life in general. Better put the kettle on. Some hot tea would hit the spot, and so would the melancholy pop of Architecture's The Speed Of Not Being Lost. Some music is just made for those cold, damp days when the whole world seems as gray as concrete. Architecture has the knack for it.

A remarkably assured, smartly arranged debut, The Speed Of Not Being Lost is often touching and heartbreaking, but never bleak. There is sadness, there is regret and there is longing here. But depression never fully sets in. The melodies are too catchy and the lyrics too hopeful to drag the record down. "Pennies" drifts along on a sunny, finger-snapping acoustic melody, splashing in the puddles left by the tear-stained "Stopping Traffic", where woodwind instruments and violin swoon like damsels in distress. The mood is most somber on "Cut The Power", which begins with some light acoustic guitar strumming and later introduces shuffling drums and lovely, plinking piano for a beguiling bridge.

Architecture's touch is so subtle. On the dark epic "Sabbatical", electric guitar corrodes Matt Griffin's beautifully fragile piano textures. The same effect comes to light in the instrumental "Quimixto." Used to be that only Idaho could pull that off. The guitar textures in "The Property Line" recall Damien Jurado's Waters Ave. S, while the folky instrumental "Hand-Eye" gives a nod to Leo Kottke. What does Architecture do for an encore? "And So On" starts with stabbing, staccato bursts of electric guitar and shimmering pools of electric keyboard, then unexpectedly ends with wistful "Ba BaBa Ba Ba, Ba BaBa Ba Ba" chorus.

Kirk Pratt's songwriting doesn't succumb to maudlin self-pity. In "Stopping Traffic" he throws out a life preserver to the desperately lonely, writing "If you just hold on, someone will come along and break the silence." He's also aware enough to know when a relationship is so flawed it can't go on unless changes are made. The line "The only thing keeping us here is what kept us alone," in "Daylight Savings" is devastatingly delivered in a voice that sounds like a bit like Jurado's, or perhaps even Joe Jackson.

Hard to tell where Architecture goes from here. Music this intricate, this emotionally draining doesn't come easy. It wouldn't surprise me if Architecture takes years to make another record. Then again, maybe Architecture will prove me wrong. I hope so because I'll miss them while they're gone.

Reviewed by Peter Lindblad
Peter Lindblad lives in Appleton, Wis., and bleeds green and gold just like all the Packer fan nutjobs in the area. He does draw the line at wearing blocks of chedder on his head, or any other body parts for that matter, though. His professional career has taken weird twists and turns that have led him to his current position as an editor at a coin magazine. He hopes his stay there will be a short one. Before that, he worked as an associate editor at a log home magazine. To anyone that will listen, he\'ll swear that Shiner was one of the greatest rock bands to ever walk the earth. Yet he also has much love for Superchunk, Spoon, DJ Shadow, Swervedriver, Wilco, Fugazi, Jawbox, ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Modest Mouse, among others.

See other reviews by Peter Lindblad



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