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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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 » 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
Robin Brock
Hidden Power
A2 Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Jesus Christ. Robin Brock.

I know that little comment could go either way. Either this is was an incredible album, or maybe it wasn't. Yeah I think it's the latter. I was suspicious when I got it stuck in the middle of my pile of CDs to review for LAS. The cover of the album boasted an all-out country rock tough girl, complete with the long red-died hair cut in chunky layers and the leopard print alligator skin jacket, giving me a cold, I'm a tough-sexy-woman stare. A sticker on the plastic wrapped album read "with special guest guitarist RANDY BACHMAN". The sticker was circled in red, where someone at LAS wrote "WHO?" in big block letters. Not a good sign.

I opened up the packaging and on the liner notes there was a picture of Brock, her silver ringed fingers holding a crystal ball with, you guessed it, her face, upside down! By now, I knew I was screwed. It was awful. As a respectable writer, I knew I had to listen to the entire album, all twelve AOR/Melodic Rock songs.

I saved the album until now. It's a melancholy, dreary day. Sitting home, all alone and bored, I commence this review. I'm truly sorry, Robin Brock. But you're a tough "Goddess of Rock n' Roll" and I know you won't hold it against me.

The liner notes for Hidden Power don't include lyrics, though they do include a "Thanks to the Universe and the Great Spirits for your guidance and the infinite wellspring of inspiration" and a thanks "To the non-believers- for my determination to prove you wrong!" I guess I'd fit in that "non-believer" category, but that's ok, I guess this review will help Brock become more determined.

Brock tells us that she is angry at a man, but she will spend his money (a la Blù Cantrell) as revenge in "I'm Doin' Fine (Without You)." She has a couple of ballads including "(I Wish You Could) Read My Mind". Sorry, I'm really not super-into ballads, especially when women sing them. They bother me and I can never listen to the full thing.

"I Surrender" is super cliché. Brock tells us, "I surrender to the gods or angels whoever is running the show/ I'm dancing on the edge of sanity/ won't somebody rescue me/ can't wait forever its now or never." Hidden Power is that cheesy. Its cheesy Canadian female rock n' roll and I can't take it. She even has a song called "Goddess of Rock N' Roll" where she belts out lyrics like "I've found a home when I found the stage/ cause I'm the Goddess of Rock N' Roll/ open your mind & I'll give you my soul."

The last song, "That Scares Me" continues with cheesy, awful, almost funny lyrics. "I wasn't looking for love/ I wasn't looking for anyone/ but something made me open my eyes/ it was out of my hands & I realized/ You're my knight in shining armor/ you're my missing link/ you're the answer to my questions/ you're my destiny." How cute…

Not to bash Robin Brock, though. Surely there are people who like her music, just not people like myself. I'm not into her angry, tough-yet-sensitive rocker chick and country bumpkin persona or the music that it entails. If you like that kind of stuff, you'll love Robin Brock, I promise.

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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