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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
Alina Simone
Prettier in the Dark EP
Fractured Discs

Rating: 7.5/10 ?


May 6, 2005
If you have not yet discovered this for yourself, let me point out a crucial fact to you, so as to bless your discerning ears: Alina Simone is an important new voice in female indie rock, and this, her debut EP, establishes exactly that fact; she has made a name for herself in a brief introduction.

What you will hear here is deceptively lo-fi, lovingly handcrafted and simply stunning. While some immediate reference points are Cat Power (as evinced by the opening title track which sonically rivals "You May Know Him," note for note) and Mary Timony ("Siberia" could easily appear in the roaring, obtuse annals of The Magic City), Alina Simone has a voice and a method all her own. Her sound is spare and somehow rotted on the inside, as she riles up in defense of her emptiness. Tinges of spurned guitar anger draft punctuation in fitting, bitter places, and the oft-stilted pace and chilled tambourines show how much work has gone into this creation of simplicity.

The tone is jealous and scorned, but healing with every poignant barb. We are listening to a jilted lover speak her final peace, and while acidic, the EP is filled with the same righteous comfort. Whether stepping to the hollow sleepwalk of disbelief ("Louisiana") or letting guarded emotions pour out unapologetically ("Every Fresh Start You Make"), Simone is so convincingly real, it's hard not to open old wounds in her company.

On the fullest-sounding of the tracks, "Cash America Pawn," she thickens her tears with a tuneless acoustic guitar and echoing handclaps, appropriately broken and distant. It's remarkable how she can make something so rich with so little, and that stark depth becomes her calling card. As it is with many distinguished works of art, honesty is all that's necessary to be great.

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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