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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
Eric Matthews
Six Kinds of Passion Looking for an Exit EP
Empyrean Records

Rating: 7/10 ?

April 11, 2005
Eric Matthews and Jason Falkner have always gone hand in hand. If you like one, you'll doubtlessly like the other, even though their sounds are varied. Matthews has always been more observant and grounded, reveling in the best tendencies of chamber pop, as Falkner is more carefree and power pop driven. The two sounds intertwine in places, hence the mutual love. Neither had put out a release for years, and between 2004 and 2005, both came back with EPs made almost exclusively for their hangers-on.

Prolonged anticipation can be a nasty foe, as fans and critics can have too-high expectations - but at the same time, we can be glad to hear anything at all. Both cases apply to these men, as reviews have been decidedly mixed and their sounds a little dated through time, but there's a certain amount of invigoration that comes from simply hearing their voices. This is especially true for Eric Matthews.

Six Kinds of Passion Looking for a Thrill is standard fare for the hushed troubadour; it is no greater than his previous efforts, and if anything, it is more subdued, but the love has proven unending. While the EP feels a little more rote this time, there are still the lush layers, the beautiful, downplayed undertones, and the overall, consistent sound his fans have come to enjoy.

These seven songs are a gift to his fans. While the opening track, "Worthy," is geared to be the light rock radio-friendly single, it's the rest of his works that return to warm their hearts. "So Overblown" takes matters to a serene, personal place; as a milky piano ballad, it fully embraces that aspect of his sound, indulging every confessional and pastoral impulse. "Cardinal is More" is misty-eyed and burnt in its adoration of the Smiths, and proves one thing his fans have always known: Even when Matthews is loud, he's quiet, and [almost more so] vice versa.

The sly, 60s folk-styled lullaby, "Underground Song" and the sighing, wounded number, "You Will Be Happy" are the closest the disc has to filler, and that is only because the remaining tracks pull in such different ways - "Do You Really Want It?" is the most involved and innovative work, incorporating new electronic sounds to shimmy in an awkward pop dance - while not dance-pop by any means, it is nerdily catchy and marginally glitchy.

And, on the ending cut, "Black to Light Brown," Matthews delivers the exact track his fans were probably tuning in for in the first place: it is the most immediate, poppy cut on the EP, infused with the energy of the years passed, and is gloriously concise and potent. It is the true single - a pop nugget in and of itself - and it gives those loyal legions the revival they need to persevere until his next release, whenever it may be. With these dulcet, complex tones in our collective ears, may it be sooner rather than later.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters



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