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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
Rose Melberg
Cast Away The Clouds
Double Agent

Rating: 8.5/10 ?


May 11, 2006
In the grand scheme of my music-filled, Hornbyesque life, The Softies' It's Love would wind up in my top 30 albums. Rose Melberg and Jen Spragia's perfect twee-pop moment would beat out the likes of heavy hitters - including Brainiac and the Wrens, Jawbox and Low - and even their own genre's forebears, Beat Happening, Lois and Heavenly. It's Love is crystalline in its composition notebook doodling, raw emotion scrawling, teary-eyed sweetness. There is no other album in my collection quite like it, whose heart is so clearly on its sleeve; now, however, there is a perfect companion to it.

It's been more than ten years since that ice-melting album graced the world, and Rose Melberg's second solo release forever marks the truly everlasting ability she has to resonate in hearts and minds through song. Her transcendence - her way of showing her heart truly bare - is enthralling in its earnest nature.

"Take Some Time"'s wintry, shy tune has been diminished by hurt, though Melberg never flinches. A spare piano sounds as though played by quivering fingers, though it continues on through doleful, shimmering harmonies. The title track, so intimate it is nearly a cappella, stings with knowledge of imminent betrayal. Our lady never stops feeling - even when it hurts - and she never looks away. In this regard, Cast Away the Clouds is the ultimate badge of bravery so hard-won from the youthful sting of It's Love. It is knowing and experienced, yet it still carries on.

That's not to say the album is devoid of light or tender moments: "The Orchard" reveals a tentatively sultry side, like trying on a swimsuit in front of a new lover - clinging to affection as long as he promises to stay through the summer. "Irene" has a bounce in its step, skipping on pavement with bright-eyed, perceptive zeal. "Little Bird" yearns unendingly for someone precious to sing a special lullaby. Every subtle shift in emotion and empathy stays true; Cast Away the Clouds is lovable through every turn.

For anyone who has never heard the striking, simply stunning sounds of Ms. Melberg singing her heart, please find the shambling, unapologetically messy rhythms and poignant sentiment of "Something Else" and give as much as you get. There is a connection to be made with Rose Melberg, and whether it is years or minutes from the first time we heard her sweet voice, she's still meeting us more than half way.

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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