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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
Michael J. Sheehy
Ill Gotten Gains
Beggar's Banquet

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
I really like Michael J Sheehy's voice. It's soothing, angelic almost, setting up a great contrast with the grittiness of some of his lyrics. If I had read the lyrics on Ill Gotten Gains without actually listening to the album, I undoubtedly would have expected different music and a completely different tone of voice. Out of all the other, more expected ways Sheehy could have made this album, though, none would be as effective as the contrast he puts forth the way he did it already. "She's a good girl but she likes to flirt/ make him jealous so he treats her like dirt/ the crash of his fist/ feels just like being kissed/ some people love to get hurt" is sung in a slow yet beautiful manner. You could almost imagine a dirty Sheehy walking down the streets of London, hands in pockets, singing almost every track on Ill Gotten Gains, his soothing voice shockingly detached from lyrics like "when he asked you to work you didn't think twice/ but then you started smokin' the merchandise/ you couldn't make the grade but you took the stash/ now its time to pay up but you don't got no cash/ when he calls to collect he's gonna' kick your ass."

I like the effect. It's interesting, almost surprising, kind of (sort of) like the feeling I got when listening to Our Lady Peace's "Clumsy" the first couple of times, shocked that a song that sounded one way, happy, for instance, could actually be about darker ideas like murder, a man waving as someone drowns.

Yeah. So the lyrics are good and full of contrast, often telling stories, like "No One Recognised Him" about a boxer throwing a fight, and, Sheery's nice voice- a good voice and good lyrics are both good ways to make a good album. With these two factors as well as some well placed instrument insertions like those of a viola, violin, organ, piano, acoustic guitars, double bass, cello, and electronic arrangements, and Sheehy has made himself a high quality record.

Reviewed by Jeanette Samyn
A contributing writer for LAS and a former music director WBAR at Barnard College.

See other reviews by Jeanette Samyn

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