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Location: Charlottesville, Virginia, United States

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Best Album That No One Heard

Best Album That No One Heard: Polaroid by Salim Nourallah
I've written about this one twice this year -- once for a PopMatters review, and once for our Fate of the Album feature -- so I'm not going to go into too much detail here. I do want to draw attention to this disc, though, because it's smart and lovely, and it's fun and moving, I've seen very little press on it.

I described it once like this: "The thoughts on each track are accessible, but as they draw together on Polaroid, they create a bolder, less resolvable image. It's only one picture, but it bears steady viewing." Nourallah's created an album in which each track is necessary to understanding the others, bouncing between youth and adulthood as well as the past and the present. I didn't start to appreciate this album until midway through my first listen, until I started to realize some of themes and some of the subtle work that Nourallah was doing.

Maybe that subtlety has kept the album out of the spotlight, but there are enough good pop songs that something -- probably "1978" or "Everybody Wants to Be Loved" -- should be getting radio play. The music's an update on '70s AM radio, and I mean that in the best possible way; it's completely enjoyable without being bubblegum at all. But I don't need to keep explaining this to you when you can just go check out the downloads.


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