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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
Clear Horizon
Clear Horizon
Kranky Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Clear Horizon is an exercise in "mail-a-record," similar to how The Postal Service created their album, Give Up. There is a definite distinction between the two, though, and their similarities end right about where they begin. We have the teaming of an indie rock artist with an electronic artist in both collaborations, but while Give Up is sugar and spice, chipper and more than happy to play in the sun, Clear Horizon's skies are bleak and somber, trodden with gray and shadow.

This is down tempo pop, slow and longing, that manages beauty through the emptiness it conveys, with little more than Jessica Bailiff's ominous, mellow tones; David Pearce's distanced, airy voice; wind-bristled chimes; slowly strummed guitar; single key drones; and noise to fill any voids left over. It's music to sleep by, music for autumn afternoons, music to forget to, and often times reminiscent of very early Dead Can Dance.

While listening, Clear Horizon seemed more than the sum of its parts, as if it was the unheard croons of the Earth, lulling nature into its seasons. It's a striking effort, better experienced alone the first time so that it can resonate without interruption. Perhaps this borders on an excess of sentimentalism, but Clear Horizon is truly a haunting affair. This album is ambience ideal for intimate encounters, not necessarily of the sexual variety, but more of a "shared space" album; music to sit in silence with another.

Often times sparse, but concurrently lush, the displaced duo manage to put forth an emotional effort without ever breaking stride: there are no shouts or barks, no breakneck guitar licks or driving percussion. It's a brilliant paradox of emotion without feeling, as if the music simply exists without reason, reason enough to make it so delightfully appealing.

Reviewed by David Spain
Based in Chicago, Illinois, David Spain is a contributing writer for LAS magazine.

See other reviews by David Spain

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