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December 03, 1982 - Image 19

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-12-03
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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Getting
better
Wild Things Run Fast
Joni Mitchell
Geffen
By Pamela Kramer
TIME WAS, you had to feel a certain
dread every time Joni Mitchell
came out with a new album-God alone
knew what it would hold. She went
through this, like, y' know, artistic
phase, and the result was a stream of
incredibly bad music. Hejira, an album
that came in the middle of it all, is the
only bearable remnant of those days.
Well, the "artistic" stuff is over with
now. The recently released Wild Things
Run Fast may not be particularly in-
novative, and it certainly isn't filled
with the obscure nonsense some call
creativity. But it's the best thing to
come from Joni Mitchell in about 10
years, and it's a real pleasure to listen
to-even if there aren't many acoustic
guitars and pianos, like in the good old
days.
In many ways, Wild Things Run Fast
is similar to For the Roses and Court
and Spark, the two albums preceding
Joni's great leap into the abyss of Music
Unpleasant. It's got more of a "pop"
sound than her recent music, and she's
returned to themes of love and lif:e.
(Don't laugh-it isn't sappy. We're not
talking Barry Manilow here, we're
talking Joni Mitchell.)
Of course, there are plenty of dif-
ferences between 10 years ago and now.
For one thing, the voice that sang "Cold
Blue Steel and Sweet Fire" is older
now, and sounds it. No matter. It's still
a more versatile instrument than many
artists could hope to possess.
If she sounds a little like Pat Benatar
at the beginning of the title cut, that's
just part of the fun. It only lasts a few

bars, and throughout the rest of the
album, you know no one but Joni could
sing like that. So what if there's a lot of
fuzztones; Joni's in there somewhere.
A more important similarity-and
difference-is the return to plain old
emotions, exposed through delving,
warm, thorough, personal, reaching,
holding lyrics.
Unlike earlier, instead of spending
most of her time lamenting lost love in
mournful tunes of minor chords or
melancholy words, Joni's got a
downright cheerful outlook. Before this,
she had-at best-eight songs that
could be considered even barely ap-
proaching happy.
"Moon at the Window" seems almost
a reminiscence of those feelings.
"Sometimes the light/Can be so hard to
find/At least the moon at the window-/
The thieves left that behind."
But the moon at the window sheds
enough light for the rest of the album,
which sometimes surpasses even "Help
Me" in its schoolgirl flights. "Yes I
do-I love you!" she shouts, and
proceeds to swear it by everything from
the stars above to the truck at the
stoplight. She says she's got a solid love
("hot dog, darlin' "). And if she keeps
this up, she's going to have a solid
following for the first time in a long
time.
Joni has returned to pop music. But
anyone who says that pop music isn't
art when Joni does it has a lot of ex-
plaining ahead. The album isn't par-
ticularly innovative-it's an expansion
of what she does best, a Music Pleasant
that few other people really know how
to do.
Wild Things Run Fast is art. It tells
things in a concrete kind of way, a way
that at once exposes common feelings
yet gives them a unique expression.
Joni's voice may not be what it was.
She's growing old, this woman who
wrote in "Woodstock" that life is for
learning. She's even incorporated an
old Righteous Brothers tune into one of
her songs, "Chinese Cafe." "Caught in
the middle/Carol, we're middle class/
We're middle aged/We were wild in the
old days/Birth of rock 'n' roll days.. .
Nothing lasts for long." And it's one of
the best songs she's even written-from
Song to a Seagull on.

of love
ABC
Royal Oak Music Theater
Wednesday, December 15
By Mare Hodges
HOW DO I love thee? Let me count
the ways. Ask this question of
Martin Fry, singer and leader of
Britain's ABC, and the result would
be a combination of pop-disco love
ballads entitled Lexicon of Love.
ABC, a current English Success, has
hit the American scene with a forceful
new dance music style that is creating
further successes for them, as eviden-
ced by the popularity of their ecently
released single "The Look of Love."
This single is only a taste of the tan-
talizing tunes offered on the album.
ABC has combined the orchestrating
talents of Trevor Horn (previously of
Yes), with their own abilities to write
love lyrics that verbally break the
heart, to create, as Fry once stated, "a
dance music that would be powerful
and dignified again, goin' in the op-
posite direction of most of the Saturday
Night Fever discotheque schlock that
was hangin' around."
ABC has taken a step in a new direc-
tion with their debut LP and other dan-
ce music artists have begun to follow.

ABC's new hit single in Britain,
"Poison Arrow," is typical of the songs
responsible for ABC's overseas suc-
cess. Strong on verbal insight, this
single combines a smoky soprano sax,
an oriental marimba figure, and a syn-
thesized drum roll that explodes into a
dynamic uproar as Fry gets dumped by
his fantasy friend in the song.
Along the lines of a slower tune, free
of the high pump of the other songs, Fry
offers "All of My Heart." This song
follows the classic tragic romance story
with lyrics such as
I hope and pray
That maybe someday
You'l walk in the room with my
heart.
Add and subtract, but as a matter
of fact
Now that you're gone I still want
you back
Fry's lyrical expression as well as
vocal talent makes "All of My Heart"
one of the best songs on the LP.
ABC seems to have created an
original style of music, but their real
roots can be traced to American R & B.
Hints at this are evidenced by such
lyrics as "I second that emotion" (from
"Show Me"), and the name ABC itself,
suggestive of an old Jackson Five num-
ber.
These origins do nothing but enhance
the quality of this new group, however,
and saves them from falling into any
particular trend. As Fry once said, "We
just liked the idea of a bilg glamorous
name. We thought it'd be timeless:
something that had international ap-
plication but wouldn't tie us down to
any one trend or fashion."
The band is made up of studio-

ABC: Love story

Phil Collins: Repeat performance
Hello,
goodbye
Hello, I Must Be Going
Phil Collins
Atlantic
By Andrew Porter
PHIL COLLINS' new solo effort,
Hello, I Must, Be Going is
conclusive proof that he turns his worst
material over to Genesis. In 1981 he
surprised the record market with the
year's most enjoyable LP, Face Value,
and it is evident that he's achieved a
repeat performance for 1982.
For the new album he re-hired studio
extraordinaire Hugh Padgham to han-
dle the production and removed Earth,
Wind, and Fire from the brass section
in order to use a lesser known, but just
as quality, horn quartet.
The collection is introduced with a
repetitive number that demonstrates
Collins ability to assemble simple lyrics
with straightforward guitar licks and
manufacture enjoyable songs.
Entitled "I Don't Care Anymore," he
screams over-emotionally about his
feelings of apathy and ends up
repeating the title 42 times in just under
four minutes. (Judges have ruled that
on a words per time scale this sur-
passes David Bowie's "Fame," the
previous recordholder).
Collins' next tune, "I Can't Believe
It's True," is a lively melody that ser-
ves to debut his brass regiment.
Needless to say, the song is terrific-a
poppy, pepped-up love song a la EWF's
"September" that dominates the A side.
of the album.
Even better, the transition to the next
tune, "Like China," is a beautiful con-
trast of the incredibly wide range of
styles that influence the music on the.
LP. A legitimate rock 'n' roll bit with a
Springsteen-like lyric (the tales of a

young boy anxious to woo a young
virgin girl), the song is pleasure to have
on the turntable.
The flow of the album is interrupted
suddenly by an obvious Genesis reject
("Do You Know, Do You Care") that
exists as living proof that getting
carried away with synthesizers can be
dangerous to the listener's health.
Fast forwarding to the final song
enables the new collection's first side to
end on a happy note. A re-make of the
old Supreme's hit "You Can't Hurry
Love," Phil Collins leaps from syntho-
funk to traditional Motown and perfor-
ms commendably with the help of his
band's appealing background vocals
and studio work.
The album cover leaves us wondering
what's in store for future solo efforts
and thus the continuation of what has
become a dull joke. The pictures on
Face Value are taken from the front
and back of Collins' head; the pictures
on Hello, I Must Be Going are taken
from the profiles. Maybe next we'll be
treated to either top and bottom or in-
side and outside shots. Phil has also
decided to handle the printing again
and hence the beautiful script that em-
bellishes the inside layout (which not to
mention is also carbon copied from the
first LP).
The second face is just as listenable
as the first, but doesn't contain nearly
the variety. It opens with a powerful
brass-oriented song, "It Don't Matter to
Me," and glides into "Thru These
Walls," the single from the album
that's got a bit of a deja vu ring to it.
The unmistakeably present drum
motive that commences the faster sec-
tion of "In the Air Tonight" is used as
the cantus firmus and appears several
times in this continuing saga. The two
songs are clones of each other-anyone
who has heard only Phil Collins' singles
will be convinced that he plagerizes
himself in order to develop new
material.
The new album stands nearly
flawless and leads us to ponder the ap-
parent uselessness .of Genesis. Phil
Collins definitely works better by him-
self and having now scheduled a solo
U S. tour he has taken, his independent
status one step further.

oriented musicians and has only per-
formed 18 live concerts to date, but this
hasn't hindered their success. Fry
claims that they have set goals for
themselves as far as live performances
go, and these goals are comparable to

the stan
as studi
it seems
shows w
album I

Classic
jazz.
David Eyges
University Club
8 p.m. Saturday, December 4
By Robin Jones
HEARING David Eyges play cello
is like hearing a rhythm section,
supplier of harmonies, and "horn"
soloist rolled into one. Eyges and his
"Crossroads" ensemble of notable jazz
musicians William Byard Lancaster
and Sunny Murray appear in concert at
the University Club Saturday at 8 p.m.
The concert is sponsored by Eclipse
Jazz.
Eyges began his musical career at
the age of five, when he studied the
piano. At nine, he switched to cello. He
studied cello and composition at the
Manhattan School of Music under the
tutelage of Benar Heifetz. In 1972,
following a deep desire to play jazz,
Eyges joined Gunter Hampel's group.
He stayed with Hampel for a year and a
half, and toured throughout Germany,
Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, and
the Netherlands.
Eyges formed his own group in 1975,
and has been making jazz waves ever
since. He has two recordings out on his
own Music Unlimited label: The Arrow,
and Crossroads. Crossroads' brightest
moments occur when the cello and alto
play intersecting lines-when they im-
provise simultaneously. Eyges and
saxophonist/flutist Byard Lancaster
show the influence of Ornette Coleman,
in the bluesy, playful irregular
originals.

In the
rebounc
double-s
caster ii
register
clear-tor
changed
changed
Lancast
breathir
strums
doubleti
zicato k
solos.
Eyges
with ea
fiddles,
saxopho
He is wil
of the ce
classical
Eyges
prestigio
William
of few e
and Ph
saxopho
recorded
Philly Ji
Jenkins,
to name
albums a
Percu
engager
Albert
Coltran
Murray.
Untouch
Eyges
have ex
and will
Sunday a
House.
Ticket
al' $3.5C
availablc
offices,
Records
informal
763-6922.

David Eyges: On the road again

Joni Mitchell: Being cool

12 W eYehdIVNcefiber 3,'1982 -.~...- - - - - - - - -,~ - -

-. ............................~ .- 5

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