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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 Militia Group

Rating: 5/10 ?

October 5, 2005
Is it wrong that I like Cartel? They're super poppy and predictable, but Chroma also happens to be one of the most fun records I've experienced so far this year. Call it a guilty pleasure, but I can't help but indulge.

Singer Will Pugh's vocals are infectious; after a long day of work and stressful classes, it's nice to hear some songs about partying on rooftops and other such shenanigans. "Burn this City" was made for blasting out of a car stereo as you blow down the road at above-limit speeds. Although not quite a song of rebellion, it sure has that spirit - if nothing else, I just want to raise some hell in the ATL with these folks.

The sappier numbers like "Save Us," despite its heart, are a bit of a buzz-kill. Like an 80s power ballad, there's just not a right time or a right place on this record for sap; and I'm not sure who's idea it was to rerecord "Luckie St." - named for a real street downtown Atlanta - but they should be disposed of. The main redeeming factor of The Ransom EP was this song's passion and general feel-good quality. What once sounded like a whim of spontaneous solidarity now sounds forced and trite.

Closing track, "Answer," employs one of my most favorite tricks of all time: although the remix feel towards the end is a little goofy, recalling the hooks from the preceding 11 tracks compels me to keep it spinning.

The remaining power pop revels in pseudo-mindlessness. A few recording tricks help to set Chroma apart from the rest, even if it doesn't break any new ground, but sometimes it's nice to hear the same-old same-old done better, and that's exactly what Cartel offer. Go ahead, nobody's looking. Indulge yourself.

Reviewed by Natalie B. David
A fresh graduate of the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia, in her spare time she can be found clumsily manipulating words and phrases for LAS and Beautiful/Decay magazine, hungering for sushi, naming inanimate objects or pondering the existence of stiletto heels. If you see her, you should buy her a cup of coffee because, chances are, she probably needs it.

See other reviews by Natalie B. David



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