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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
The Maggies
Cryptic Valentine
Chicken Man

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
The Maggies bio uses the words "pop" and "power pop" to describe the band's music. I would use those words as well but I don't know where this type of pop went. The songs on Cryptic Valentine are radio-friendly to the core, every last one of them. Unfortunately for the Maggies, they will be thrown in the mix with the Sugar Rays or maybe even the endless list of boy bands and teen stars, just because of the word pop. It's a shame too, because this music has roots in bigger and better things. It borrows from Uncle Tupelo what Wilco has. It takes from the Replacements what Paul Westerberg does. It feels like pre-Green REM with the edge of the Smithereens.

At times the songs are brimming with catchy beats and feel-good melodies. Though it is impossible to tell by the title, "Dying in my Sleep" is one of these songs, yet somehow the lyrics and, I think it's a cello in the background, pull the happy guitar line underwater and darken the feel. Other songs are like lullabies. "Long Dark See You" and "We're there" are peaceful and soothing throughout.

The songs on Cryptic Valentine remind me of a long drive on a rainy day when I don't feel like cranking the volume and throwing myself around in the car but I also don't want to sink into depression and drive into a light pole. Power. Pop. Pretty. Pretty good.

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