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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
Patrick Wolf
Wind in the Wires
Tomlab Recordings

Rating: 8/10 ?


April 21, 2005
At the risk of sounding like my dad, what's with kids today? These days it seems like childhood is treated like a silly waste of time, as fourth graders spend recess talking on their cell phones and judging each others' wardrobes. Ask any tweenage girl and she will undoubtedly tell you the meaning of the word "skort" without as much as cracking a smile. The same attitude is bleeding into musical culture, as a flood of serious youth make the soundtrack to all things affected. Bright Eyes comes to mind, as does his British counterpart Patrick Wolf, who by the tender age of 21 has two brooding albums under his belt.

His latest tearjerker, Wind in the Wires, is superbly imaginative for someone still considered a "lad." The world-weary "Teignmouth" was meant to be a duet with psych-folk godmother Vashti Bunyan, and though the project didn't go through as planned, it's easy to hear why Bunyan would be drawn to Wolf's eerie vespers: "I saw spirits/crawl across the river mouth/in skewed ascension/with no destination."

Songs like "The Libertine" and "This Weather" beg comparison to Digital Ash In A Digital Urn, as electronic hiccups contrast with Wolf's velvety vocals. Even the baroque "Tristan," the album's biggest crybaby, is hard to resist with its chugging bass thump. On the other hand, as Wind in the Wires is the result of a move from London to a cottage in Cornwall, it does not rely on a synthetic crunch; "The Railway House" is decadent in its low-fi ukulele crescendo, and the strings-only "Apparition" is as fragile as the name would suggest.

Following the melancholic "Eulogy," the album's closer "Lands End" offers a light at the end of the tunnel. It's the only song that you could call "bright" or even "optimistic" of the bunch, and it could very well be a taste of things to come considering Wolf has mentioned plans of making an album that sounds like a fairy tale - and after all his crying, Wolf and his ilk are about due for such a project.

Reviewed by Andy Brown
A regular contributor to LAS, Andy Brown lives in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, but doesn\'t think he has an accent.

See other reviews by Andy Brown

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