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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
Joanna Newsom
Have One on Me
Drag City

Rating: 6.5/10 ?


June 15, 2010
Don't even look at the number above. Reviewing Have One on Me as an album means picking a numerical score that reflects the inability to digest the album as a whole, even if individual elements signify the masterpiece a single-disc album could have been. Two hours is a very long time for music that, after a promising false start, begins to blend into a rambling stream of Newsom's quiet quirkiness.

Fans of Ys won't find this collection of songs under the ten-minute mark a problem, and Newsom's squeaky-mouse voice has softened, too. More than just accessibility, the breadth of Newsom's songwriting has reached new heights, with both the intimate directness of "'81" and the gripping journey of "Have One on Me" shining in ways clearer to the average listener than anything else Newsom has done.

For the intervals without clear standouts (almost the entirety of discs two and three) however, there's too much to handle. Enthusiasts might get caught up in the idea of what this album could have been, but in actuality only get through the first disc, save for the occasional sleepy night.

It's never the same moments that drag though, just the sheer weight of such a heady album resulting in an inevitable collapse. Take "Jackrabbits" out of context and Newsom's unusually sweet high notes almost rival "'81," but sandwiched between two eight-minute tracks, it's forgettable. The same can be said for the album's gorgeous piano-and-drum crescendo/conclusion, as well as at least one section of just about every song on the subtler two discs.

Newsom's brilliant but reckless songwriting resulted in eighteen tracks, each with an EP's worth of creativity and talent. But why stop editing an overlong listening experience there? Treating each song as an independent entity isn't such a bad idea.

Reviewed by JJ Lang


See other reviews by JJ Lang

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