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[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » 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.
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 » 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!
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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
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
The Shore
The Shore
Maverick Records

Rating: 6/10 ?

October 1, 2004
"First thought best thought" is a Buddhist mantra made famous by beat of all beats, Jack Kerouac. The implications of this idea can have the effect of clearing one's mind, of cutting out the nonsense of the chaotic modern world to reach a pure state of mental capacity... or something like that.

I ruffled through my rolodex of music snob slang to find the perfect slam for The Shore's self-titled debut, but came up empty-handed. Predictable wasn't the right word, nor was boring, or for that matter uninspired. I was trying far too hard to put down this band for making a standard rock album when my gut instinct was to like it. The Shore may not be exploring new territory in rock n' roll but this album is utterly listenable.

Thirty seconds into "Hard Road" is all it takes to recognize The Verve influence which is embedded into every track on the CD. Spacey but not-too-spacey guitars dance around Ben Ashley's malleable voice. The Shore take another page from Richard Ashcroft's notebook by incorporating tasteful strings in this song and several others for that epic romance feel. Slower numbers like "Take What's Mine" follow in the heartbroken footsteps of Travis as Ashley impeccably sings "I've been dreaming all day/ for the light in your eyes/ you never come round no more/ except to say goodbye." "Hold On" offers much the same arrangements of guitars, keys and strings while Ashley approaches an Ed Kowalzcyk falsetto without batting an eye.

The Shore's accessible sound benefits from the production of this CD which is lush, rich (lish, perhaps?) and attentive to detail. The little piano flourishes that pepper the tracks and the subtle string sections are proof that The Shore aren't f'ing around. The result is an album that sounds more like a matured, polished sophomore effort than a self-titled debut.

It's hard not to fall for The Shore, and I have tried. They don't rock like Modest Mouse, they aren't as hip as Franz Ferdinand, and they definitely don't write songs like Wilco. Then again, The Jealous Sound's Kill Them With Kindness was last summer's guilty pleasure even though no one could say exactly why. Much the same, The Shore a crowd-pleasing album that will challenge you to find fault with it. Try as you might to dis this record, it will just end up in the CD player in your car.

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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