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 » 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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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
Nina Nastasia
Run To Ruin
Touch & Go Records

Rating: 9/10 ?

October 1, 2004
First off, let me admit that I have a love affair with Nina Nastasia's music; if you frequent this site and caught my previous review, you are probably already aware. The love affair began over a year ago when I was searching an online music retailer that offers suggestions and related artists to whoever's profile you happen to be viewing. I don't remember exactly how I came across Nina's music, but I think it was six degrees of acoustic separation, by way of Tara Jane O'Neil and Gillian Welch. I listened to a few sound clips off of The Blackened Air, immediately ordered it, and haven't looked back since.

On Nina's most recent and 3rd release Run to Ruin, she again works with Steve Albini (who also engineered her previous two releases), this time recording at Black Box Studios in the rolling countryside of France. Run to Ruin is comprised of 8 tracks, with most of the songs stretching on for several minutes; this is notable as each of her previous releases has twice as many songs, both with a number of tracks under a minute in length. At first I was prematurely disappointed when I noticed the brevity of this release, but after a listen my anticipated disappointment vanished. Nina's capacity as an artist and a superb storyteller is at the forefront on this album. When considered in the context of her work over the past few years, her evolution as a musician is apparent throughout, as well as the growth of her artistry and her deep investment in the craft.

On Run to Ruin, Nina has further developed and mastered her approach, mixing lush arrangements with sparse instrumentation and vocals. There is a particular allure to her voice that embodies restlessness and is almost unsettling in it's foreboding wisdom; when paired with elliptical guitar, hollow drums and a wandering string section each song seamlessly fades into one another creating a cohesive and impressive collection that is entirely unique. Here Nina and her band expand the possibilities of sound by slowly dissecting it with their instruments. They unaffectedly distill beauty and melancholy, and gradually filter them through traditional forms and arrangements that open into layered and divergent symphonies. Compared to her previous work Run to Ruin presents a more consistent sound throughout and is reflected in the spare and timeless mood that is signature to this album.

Nina's music hardly needs my praise; I just hope my admiration is as convincing and compelling as her work. Run out and buy this album and her previous effort, The Blackened Air, and when Touch & Go re-releases her first album Dogs in the fall, pick that up to.

Reviewed by Danielle Marusa
A resident of Malvern, Pennsylvania, Danielle is an occasional contributor to LAS.

See other reviews by Danielle Marusa



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