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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]

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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.
[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
Client
Heartland
Metropolis

Rating: 8/10 ?


April 30, 2007
Heartland is an album that requires a lot of names be dropped. Some of them will be big, heavy ones, but hopefully no one will be injured, as I'll do my best to guide you through this meteor shower of names.

Client is a trio of ladies who make electronic pop, with a sound that's very reminiscent of Pet Shop Boys and New Order. As a matter of fact, the Heartland song "Lights Go Out," with it's marching drums and melodic chorus, could be the female version of the Pet Shop Boys' should've been an A-side track "The Truck Driver and His Mate."

The ladies of Client clearly like their 80's electro-pop, as evidenced by their excellent cover of Adam Ant's superb "Zerox Machine." Client's version borders on being better than the original; hearing it makes you want to reach for whatever make-up you might have laying around, paint a thick line across your eyes and start calling yourself Mr. Ant. Such is the nature of covers; they're little homage's to the originals, and to the artists who first performed them, and Client's version is just as energetic as the original.

The electronic 80's appeal is consistent throughout the album, perhaps because of genius producer Stephen Hague, and the influence shines brightest in "Someone To Hurt," another track that could have been a hit from the glory days of Pet Shop Boys. It has one of those little hooks in it, in this case an almost inaudible little electronic beat, that can only be properly inserted by an experienced and talented producer like Hague. This, together with a cold and rather distanced vocal melody, instantly calls to mind Neil Tennant. "Someone To Hurt" is undeniably Heartland's strongest track, and while it is not nearly as good as the Hague-produced classics "West End Girls" and "True Faith", it's still extremely good work.

Although Hague's contributions are glaringly strong, most of Heartland's cuts were produced by Youth (another heavyweight producer who knows his New Romance and 80's pop), or by Client themselves together with Joe Wilson. Although Heartland is a solid album with thorough production contributions from a number of engineers, I can't help but be bothered by the degree to which many songs have a sound indistinguishable from one another. This glazing is especially notable towards the end of the album, and I think this could have actually been avoided by having Hague produce the entire thing. For future releases Client A, Client B and Client E, the very talented ladies of Client (what the heck, why not toss out a few more names), will hopefully have the opportunity of keeping an experienced producer like Stephen Hague behind the boards for the entire album. As it stands Heartland is a finely crafted album with a number of superb little pop songs, but with a consistent production hand the result might just have been perfect.

Reviewed by Daniel Svanberg
A contributing writer for LAS, Daniel Svanberg now lives in Boston, far far away from Sweden, where he once lived, although the weather is the same.

See other reviews by Daniel Svanberg

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