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LITERATURE

 » 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
Cyann & Ben
Sweet Beliefs
Ever

Rating: 7/10 ?


March 26, 2007
Sweet Beliefs has a glacial feel to it. The album's nine songs build from minor to major and, along the way, destroy everything in their path. Low's influence is evident throughout the album, as is that of Bowie and Sigur Růs. With their third album Cyann & Ben have created a soundtrack for the duality of Europe - ancient landscapes traversed by sleek sports cars.

Cyann & Ben is actually a French quartet. Their typical song combines a traditional instrument, such as a piano, with droning synth layers and sweet but broken vocals. Songs begin as minimally as possible and slowly build to a grinding, thunderous rumble. Sweet Beliefs has a funereal quality to it that few albums can match; songs like "In Union WithÖ" evoke high-ceiling cathedrals and ceremonial processions.

A starkly brilliant collection of songs, Sweet Beliefs exudes an open and romantic elegance that most artists would be reluctant to express. The album was recorded at Paris' Vogue Studios, is sound captured to tape in what was the birthplace of some of the most important jazz recordings of all time. Doing their best to make the most of the space, Cyann & Ben deliver a seamless recording of otherworldly dreamscapes wrapped in dark and panoramic tones. Fans of the band Espers will enjoy Greg Weeks guest spot on "Sunny Morning".

If you are looking for something short, sweet and light, Sweet Beliefs is not for you. However if you allow this record time to do its work you will thoroughly enjoy its gorgeous textures. Patience is a virtue and the virtuous will definitely find a lot to like in Cyann & Ben's latest offering.

Reviewed by Jon Burke
A contributing writer and a Chicago resident who will not be goaded by LASís editor into revealing any more details about his potentially sordid affairs.

See other reviews by Jon Burke

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