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 » 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
Matt Pond PA
Emblems
Altitude Records

Rating: 8.5/10 ?


October 1, 2004
"I remember you, do you remember me?" As given from his first lyric, his eponymous band, and his keenly human connection, Matt Pond is just a man. From his heartfelt, endearing and near-perfect releases, we should most certainly answer that we've never forgotten him.

Emblems finds Pond in the same dulcet, mundane drama that has entangled him throughout his musical life; as soul-moving, earnest, and strikingly natural sounds provide a swirling landscape for his Everyman role.

Borrowing a page from the 80s in parts, he picks up subtle influences from The Cure, The Cars, Springsteen and Stipe from time to time, making them his own between organic, catchy rock and vintage nostalgia. On "Closest (Look Out)" and "Claire", we see that he is using them to the greater advantage of outright fun.

In other places, he recaptures the natural bliss of The Green Fury, employing increasingly sweet strings and sentiments to touch the very center of humanity. A favorite, "Lily Two," has a quiet yet alarmist nature that shows him in his element. It is followed immediately by the dazzling "Bring On the Ending," a paced and choral ballad that is as sweeping as it is sorrowful. "The Butcher" is the centerpiece of the album, using thick violins to effectively stop time, surrounding the narrator like rain. With appropriately gray skies, it affects one's personal mood, but manages a sense of urgency that so often contrasts with Pond's unhurried, woodsy demeanor. We can notice, then, that each direction is fitting for such a sincere gentleman.

The majority of Emblems is blanketed by a clear, wondrous starscape, sprawled out in the country, breathing in and basking in everyday miracles. It is delicate but self-assured, full of the hope that comes from enjoying each new day. When he admits that "[When] some moonlight could break in, [there is] no way to describe," we know that he is taken aback by the glory of it all. Again, we our expectations are reached, then surpassed: his inspired awe is genuinely awe-inspiring.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters

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