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[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » 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]


 » 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
The Bellakun
cantar para espantar la soledad
Has Anyone Ever Told You?

Rating: 8/10 ?

October 1, 2004
I've always had a soft spot for emo bands from Texas. There is something about places like El Paso and Austin that seems to breed rock n' roll with a more wistful and sappy overtone, one that other locations don't seem to produce in musicians. cantar para espantar la soledad, the debut CD from The Bellakun (an offshoot of the more established El Paso outfit Egon) is another record that can be placed in such a category.

The tone of the album is essentially that of wistful piano lines met with a gentle crooning over energetic yet melancholy guitar riffs. While this formula proves to be a little overly familiar, within the first three songs The Bellakun is able to perform it with a sense of ownership of the sound.

Occasionally, however, guitarist/keyboardist/singer Victor Talamntes' lyrics fall on the ridiculous side of the fence. Lines like "Stop staring at the ground/ turn that frown upside down/ It's about time we both got down", found on "What We Both Want," sound out of place on an otherwise cliché-less body of work. In fact, much of the first track ("Gut Gersutet, Fur Den Kampf Gegen Den Westen") is sung in German, which to my non-German speaking ears is about as un-cliché as it gets.

Aside from the occasional lyrical blunders, cantar para espantar la soledad is a pretty solid affair, but suffers from the fact that whoever decided on the sequence was a little too eager to put the best foot forward. The first three tracks are highly engaging and entertaining, but the sequencing proves to work against itself as it becomes obvious that the best songs were put at the front and the weaker ones were left at the end. On such a short record (six songs), the difference in quality becomes a little too obvious.

When looked at through a more forgiving lens of it being a debut record, flaws like a bum line or two and frontloading it can be overlooked. At it's best, cantar para espantar la soledad is an impressive and refreshing take on a theme that many would think to be played out. Any band that sounds like Pleasure Forever would if they were an emo-rock group is certainly worth its salt.

Reviewed by Tom Nash
A former LAS staff member based in Vienna - that\'s Virginia, not Austria - Tom graduated from high school and we are all just so, so proud of him.

See other reviews by Tom Nash



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