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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!
[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
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
Dizzee Rascal
Maths + English
Def Jux

Rating: 8.7/10 ?

June 23, 2008
I spend my days a few blocks from Spectre Music, the publicity house handling some of the Maths + English workload, so instead of having my Dizzee promo mailed, I just walked over to get it, and left with more than I bargained for. I felt like I was at a baby shower, the way the superkind Jessica Weber poured a clearinghouse worth of hip-hop CDs on me... it seemed almost diversionary. Jess - don't worry, I love the record! But I can see why many have a problem with it, and why I'm just now getting around to organizing my thoughts on it. Grime fans will retch at the candypaint color job, the sudden elbow-rubbing with El-P and (yeah pretty ugh) crossover bids with Lily Allen and the Arctic Monkeys guy. But I'm not really a grime fan. I liked the Wiley record released in tandem overseas and my copy of Run the Road, and love the Streets, who isn't grime. But for the most part, like any other scene, I'm not feeling the scene so much as wondering how the elements will season the stew when it runs crosspatch with pop.

Listening to Boy in da Corner for the first time in 2003 was a jackhammering headache: I heard what the gushers heard and it was still too much to take. Cool sounds, but the preponderance of bullet-train everything was too much for my tinny little mind and I had to get the fuck out by the time "Jus' a Rascal" or "Stop Dat" or one of Dizzee's many blistering successors began to earworm me with bass. Boy in da Corner is at least as hard to take as the Heather Lee Murray record. But a tempermental audio-architect is supposed to ratchet me harder, not do as I say, so I also reprimanded 2004's Showtime for not being crunk enough. Sure, it pulled back from the wall of epilepsy enough for a clean listen, but who wants a clean listen out of grime?

So I never quite trusted the "British 50 Cent" anymore than the American one, because both had the attitude and couldn't quite place their records in the mode. Until now. Dizzee's stumbled upon the sharp-candy crossover that M.I.A.'s Kala didn't quite succeed as. Sound effects and splices everywhere (sharpening knives make up "World Outside!"), beats sanded down but still hard (the back to back "Sirens" and "Pussy'ole" are retro two different ways, via mook-metal and "It Takes Two" respectively), and guest shots as relief (the dearly departed UGK on the catchy, videogame-y "Where Da G's," Lily Allen's surprisingly neat vaudeville-ska "Wanna Be"). Dizzee cuts one for the club ("Flex"), one for his punks in the Dirtee Stank crew ("Suk My Dick"), pauses to advise up-and-coming MCs ("Hardback [Industry]") and classicizes off his own "Takeover" beef ("Pussy'ole"). Every song has about one idea, and all of them are great. In short, Maths + English is an ideal sellout.

Reviewed by Dan Weiss
Dan Weiss is the music editor for LAS. Formerly an editorial intern at CMJ and creator of the now defunct What was It Anyway?, his work has appeared in Village Voice, Pitchfork, Philadelphia Inquirer, Stylus and Crawdaddy among others. He resides in Brooklyn where he enjoys questionable lifestyle choices and loud guitars.

See other reviews by Dan Weiss



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