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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
Kylie Minogue

Rating: 8.4/10 ?

April 9, 2008
She may be a revered icon at home, but Kylie Minogue doesn't seem like much of a pop star in the United States; her closest thing to a Britney-or-Xtina sex scandal - being presented on all fours in a pose that allows paying guests to see her itty-bitty booty without lifting her slip - was totally beyond her control. Though her juiciest moment in public is as a wax rendering in Madam Tussaud's museum, Minogue still deserves better than having a tacked-on Mims remix be the lead to bolster her hook-friendly Euroclub tunes on American shores. For one thing, her actual hits - chintzy "The Loco-Motion" remake, "Can't Get You Out of My Head" cyber-porn, and even the underrated "Love At First Sight" (which if I properly recall got some real Vh-1 mileage) - are huge, and if Minogue doesn't expound on ubiquitous prospects I don't know who does (really, who? Veronica Mars producers?).

Leading off with a big, greasy rocker, I think X might solve Minogue's Stateside visibility issues. "2 Hearts" is such an irresistible piece of thrashed-up PJ Harvey grunt-and-vamp that it's hard to believe it comes from a dance artist. It builds on the note-step-note-step-note feel of Feist's "My Moon, My Man," only with the crucial difference that where Feist's melody vaporizes into a chorus of sighs, Minogue really humps the floor and lets it all out. Seriously, the track features some primal "woooo"s that could teach Akon a thing or two about barely legal boneage.

And from there Minogue, who was canonized in the UK after being diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer, gets as impersonal as all-get-out, illuminating familiar dance tropes and some new ones (sampling Serge Gainsbourg in "hang on your speakerphone"). In her Euro-bubble she's not too hip for a little "how does it feel in my arms" on the standout cut, and she modestly brushes off the potential hipness of the New Order homage "The One." There are times on the album when Minogue seems so content in her playful, unthreatening envelope of pop that she can't be bothered to cross over at all, even when her record veers close to sounding exactly like Britney Spears' electro twistoff Blackout ("Speakerphone," "Like a Drug").

That's not to say X is not innovative. Minogue finds even more uses for campy sex than a whole can of Black Eyed Peas on "Nu-Di-Ty," which is as fun as its title, and "Into Your Arms" exploits a rich synth sound I'm pretty sure I've never heard. I've been wrong before, but I can count three sure hits on this club-crossover coup if radio plays it right. But they won't, which is why the wax artisans in London are probably busy following up their scented version of Minogue with some other outlandish treatment for a star that American's still won't recognize.

Reviewed by Dan Weiss
Dan Weiss is the music editor for LAS. Formerly an editorial intern at CMJ and creator of the now defunct What was It Anyway?, his work has appeared in Village Voice, Pitchfork, Philadelphia Inquirer, Stylus and Crawdaddy among others. He resides in Brooklyn where he enjoys questionable lifestyle choices and loud guitars.

See other reviews by Dan Weiss



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