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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.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » 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
Ted Leo and The Pharmacists
Living with the Living
Touch & Go

Rating: 7.5/10 ?

June 15, 2007
What can you say about Ted Leo and The Pharmacists that has not already been said? Praised by critics across the board, Mr. Leo and his medical team have produced a very satisfying effort with Living with the Living. There are fifteen tracks on this album which span the gauntlet from bouncy rockers ("The Sons of Cain"), to heart-felt acoustic numbers ("A Bottle Of Buckie"), to reggae-infused jams ("The Unwanted Things"). Leo and company go over a lot of territory on this release, but it is not bothersome or a stretch; the band pulls off all of these styles very well. Well, most of them anyway.

Perhaps the biggest standout on this release is "Bomb. Repeat. Bomb." The track, while venturing into new territory, does not work as well as others on the record. The song's placement in the track list is partially to blame, but in truth there is no real good place to put it. It is very aggressive to say the least: "Oh sure, you could mobilize a million troops/ (but a thousand could probably get the job done)/ But then people start to ask questions/ So when you drop in and out of the white clouds in a blue sky/ Don't worry about them having to see the whites of your eyes." Leo and company's ongoing critique of the Iraq War, or war in general, is something to be admired in this day and age, but I am not sure that this song accomplishes what it set out to.

Also included with some releases of Living with the Living was a bonus EP, Mo' Living. Every song on the bonus disc is solid and, like the album, spans many styles. In counterpoint to "Bomb. Repeat. Bomb," Leo and The Pharmacists succeed in what I interpreted as an anti-war song on this bonus collection, a cover of Chumbawamba's "Rappaort's Testament: I Never Gave Up." It is far less aggressive than "Bomb. Repeat. Bomb." and fits more with the style of the band overall.

Ted Leo is one of the best songwriters of the modern era. If you are looking for something slightly politically charged, but mostly filled with great rock 'n' roll songs, this album and EP (the latter of which is only available through certain retail stores) are for you.

Reviewed by Nate Logan
Hailing from Indianapolis, Indiana, Nate Logan is a contributing writer to LAS who will be going to Minnesota in the fall to pursue a MFA in poetry. He hopes to develop some weird accent as a result of his time in the North.

See other reviews by Nate Logan



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