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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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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
Saint Etienne
Mantra/Beggars Group

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
From suspect beginnings involving a beat-heavy Neil Young cover and desire to mix the sounds of the original British invasion with the euro club craze of the early 90s, Saint Etienne have evolved into a hit-single spawning machine, churning out danceable indy pop gems that transcend classification. The songs on Finisterre are equally as appropriate in a smoky, strobe-lit London club as they are in a bright bedroom amidst a pillow fight.

Within the first three tracks of the album (properly spanning eleven and a half minutes combined), Finisterre encompasses the fine points that make Saint Etienne so endearing - deep house beats, acoustic guitar strumming, Sarah Cracknell's vocals (breathy to the point of sounding congested at times), random samples, and airy instrumentation of flute and strings. Finisterre easily features the most flavorful use of drum machine in recent memory. The album stumbles a bit with the unfortunate mixing of gummy 60's pop choruses and shoddy rapping in "Soft Like Me" - divulging one of Saint Etienne's major faults - but Finisterre takes of running from there with a string of infectious ("Shower Scene") clever ("The Way We Live Now") and occasionally heavy ("New Thing") tracks that always stay on the lighter side of the acid-house movement circa London/Berlin1992.

If "Soft Like Me" had wound up on the cutting room floor Finisterre would be perfect, the rest of the album pretty much spotless. From the rabid groove of "Amateur" and the soft-as-feathers intro to the following "Language Lab" to the cynical narration between cuts, this is a versatile mood album that qualifies as a "must own" for fans of Dimitri from Paris, The Faint, Depeche Mode or Everything But The Girl.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth



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