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Sidewalks

4.5 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 2, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

2010 release from the Brooklyn-based Alt-Rock duo. For this, their third album, Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino set up shop in Atlanta with producer Ben Allen, best known for his work with Gnarls Barkley and Animal Collective. Features the single 'Cameras'.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Block After Block
  2. AM/FM Sound
  3. Cameras
  4. Red Paint
  5. Where You're Coming From
  6. Good for Great
  7. Northeast
  8. Wires
  9. Silver Tiles
  10. Ice Melts


Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 2, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: November 2, 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Group
  • Run Time: 35 minutes
  • ASIN: B0042R03YA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,169 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Loudon on November 8, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When keyboardist Matt Johnson and drummer Kim Schifino's second album, Grand, hit the shelves in 2009, fans of Indie Rock took note. The leap in production and songwriting was drastic while the childlike fun of the first record was still present in all of its glory. Listen to their first album's lead single "Yea Yeah" and immediately follow that with Grand's biggest hit "Daylight." The overall feel of both tracks is nearly identical, but the intricacies in the background of "Daylight" accompanied by a much crisper recording, thanks to a move to Fader Label, turned Matt & Kim into a seemingly overnight success.

Now on their third record, Matt & Kim have once again raised their own bar, adding additional instrumentation and moving in a slightly more experimental direction. Opening with "Block After Block," a sampled and repeated "yeah!" along with hand claps give potential live audiences plenty to look forward to. If you do a Google image search for Matt & Kim, you'll be hard pressed to find a photo without both of them grinning ear to ear. This is the same reaction they look for from their listeners with every song.

Like most bands with a similar upbeat style, Matt & Kim do an excellent job balancing their newest record with both new and familiar aspects to keep fans begging for more. "Block After Block," "AM/FM Sound," and the lead single, "Cameras," succeed in introducing their new stylistic tendencies while pulling fans along for the ride. Further along, higher pitched synths are introduced on "Red Paint" and a slower tune complete with string pizzicato samples, "Where You're Coming From," offers the perfect halfway point.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have been a huge matt and kim fan from the start, and have all of their cds. I was waiting for this cd to come out and was really excited to buy it. I came on here and listened to the samples and wasnt really convinced this was going to be one of their better albums but, I was completely wrong! Buy the cd and listen to the full tracks they get great, the samples dont give theses songs justice! They have the same upbeat electro happy feeling that we expect from matt and kim. so what are you waiting for? go buy it!!
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Following the release of "Grand," their first major offering, Matt & Kim became a household name with the smashing success of "Daylight," and they continued to gain traction with the singles "Good Ol' Fashion Nightmare" and "Lessons Learned." The group's signature style was one of half-yelled lyrics, set to frenetic percussion and hammered keyboards. The result was a fun, upbeat sound that was polarizing--listeners either loved these guys or demanded ear plugs. Nevertheless, it was immediately evident that this duo was one to watch.

From the initial swirling synths and reverberating baselines of the intro track, "Block after Block," it is evident that "Sidewalks" is a very different animal. Although Matt & Kim have retained the core elements of their artistic identity, Kim's spastic percussion was traded in for a more smoothly paced, bass-laden rhythm. Likewise, Matt toned down his lyrical delivery to one more closely attuned to singing, resulting in greater vocal range, despite his self-proclaimed lack of singing skills. They did not, however, completely abandon the techniques that gained them notoriety, as shades of their previous effort are easily recognizable in "Red Paint," and to smaller degrees in several other tracks. While "Cameras" is certain to be the most well-received track from the album, the work as a whole experiments with an array of styles and sounds.

The lyrical content is smart and witty--lines such as "While I know it's letters that can spell, I hear now it's words that can say; I decided to start writing less and I'm talking more every day" make it difficult to determine if they simply favor a sardonic style of delivery, or if they are instead trying to achieve catharsis by making light of real life struggles.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I am really happy with my Sidewalks purchase. I have had several other albums by them and wanted to add more to my collection. I love that its affordable and actually fun/great to listen to. If you only have a dollar, please respectively purchase "Block after Block" role your windows down in your car and jam, with your sunglasses on.
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Format: MP3 Music
I think it would impossible for someone to listen to any of Matt & Kim's albums without smiling and eventually break out dancing. While this album still maintains the fun attitude and very danceable music found on their previous records, the tone of the album has changed. The music is much less frenetic and wild, but more restrained and toned down. What I immediately noticed was that while the rhythm is quite strong, Kim's drumming isn't necessarily driving the songs unlike their previous hits like "Good Old Fashioned Nightmare" off of "Grand."

However, I think the new more controlled sound shows growth. By focusing on other sounds I think Matt & Kim have pushed the boundaries on their music making it more than just fun pop songs to dance to, to more nuanced music with much more staying power. I may be hearing things but I would say "Block After Block" even has a little Southern Hip Hop thrown in. "Northeast" adds some real range and interest with it's very bare stripped sound for the majority of it. I think this album shows real growth in the music writing department and shows more maturity; however, make no mistake--you will still be dancing and flailing about when listening to this album. It's still the catchy fun music you've grown to love from Matt & Kim--it's just a little bit more polished.

For first time listeners I would compare Matt & Kim to a stripped down version of The Go! Team or even Santogold. Highly recommend if you enjoy life.
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