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March 22, 1985 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-03-22
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(Continued from Page 5) is a worthwile variation on the A-side.
Walter Mondale is dubbed in
E C E N T sporadically, saying Mr. Reagan has
a thing about arms control to the
beat. And you didn't think Norwegians
F I TT N4 C could throw down. J L

I-IL lu " IVI


remaining cuts are more soulful, none
particularly inspiring, but all blessed
with those gorgeously easy vocals. Ob-
viously the Tempts have the smarts to
keep their new recordings fresh enough
in songwriting and production to avoid
the revivalist stamp and a fast
relegation to the cutout bin. I'd be quite
happy if they got popular enough
among black dancefloor audiences to
forego the nostalgia circuit for a while.
Time Zone-World Destruction
(Celluloid, 12-inch single)
Time Zone is an astounding
conglomeration of different influences.
Hip-hop master Afrika Bambaataa, ex-
Pistol and current P.I.L. singer John
Lydon, and Material's Bill Laswell
unite with three sidemen to produce a
strong contender for the best twelve-
inch release of the year. World Destruc-
tion has everyting... a mighty hook,
fleshed out by a crunchy distorted
guitar, Afrika Bambaataa's bass bark,
John Lydon's snarly whine, and above
all a pervasive whimsical pessimism.
These folks are damn sure that the
whole ball of wax is on its last legs, and
they want to get their licks in before the
big ka-boom. On top of it all, the B-side

Rockwell-Captured (Motown)
Rockwell's debut, "Somebody's Wat-
ching Me," while not brilliant, showed
some promise. Captured shows Rock-
well trapped by his own stodginess. The
suburban paranoia theme isn't as cute
the second time around. One also won-
ders why Rockwell decided to interrupt
the record's samurai lounge-lizard
motif with a song about Costa Rica. No,
it's not a protest song, it's outdated
"remember those bygone days when
we were merry south of the border"
song punctuated by imposed references
to senoritas, the salsa, and San Miguel.
"Don't it Make You Cry" sould have
been the B-side to the Supremes' "Ain't
No Mountain High Enough," or a Mar-
vin Gaye number, or even a George
Jones number, but Rockwell doesn't
sell it. It's all too re-hashy, and not
quirky enough. Rockwell has got to
reach deeper than this, or he'll lose his
claim to the name.
The Rebels-You Can Make It
(Celluloid, 12-inch single)
"You Can Make It" is lyrically a
motivational, power-of-positive
thinking mantra for those considering
dropping out of school, life, or
whatever. This kind of optimism is sur-
prising for a band that calls itself The
Rebels, and towards the end of the
twelve-inch single the message seems

trite arA preachy. Fortunately, the
Rebels stu, shdrt of the "Be All That
You Can Be" stage, and instrumentally
the record is nifty. The hard guitar
sound jibes well with the crawly bass
and clean percussion. Vocally, The
Rebels make us of an excellent call-
and-answer structure, with occasional
doo-wop harmonizing, screams, shouts,
and scats. The dub versions adds little
to the A-side. "You Can Make It" is a
typically good Celluloid release. J.L.
Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays-The
Falcon and the Snowman/Original
Soundtrack (EMI)
Pat Metheny's light, airy style of free
form jazz is pleasant background music
for reading or daydreaming, but is far
too shallow to meet the demands of a
film score. Metheny's paper think
melodies traced out over some tame
rhythm track is like the aural
equivalent of a simple abstract painting
done in pale, washed out water colors.
It's prettiness is strictly one dimen-
sional and doesn't affect you below the
merely sensual level. The timid little
variation on a couple of short themes,
doesn't have enough self identity to
depth to stand on its own as much or
add any momentum to an accom-
panying visual. This would, and I'm not
being condescending, be much more
appropriate music for a travelogue or,
documentary. The album also features
the "This Is Not America" single
authored and crooned by David Bowie,
a strictly second rate tie-in that suffers
from shabby poetry and glitzy vocal
"Thrift Shop
SPRING - a Season
of Options
' Clothes
" Accessories
" Books
" and more!
Everything You Need for
the Spring Season
(acrossfrom Kroger 's)
Mon.-Fri. 10-4 Sat. 10-1

nistrionics, thougn its not so baa as me
man's arden fans are denouncing it as.
In fact Metheny's delicate pop-jazz
arangement compliments Bowie far
better than the dreary, muddled
lushness that Hugh Padgham and Arif
Mardin bured the recent Tonight album
in. B.L.B.
Andy Summers-2010 (A&M)
Bland but inoffensive disco-muzak
arrangement of Strauss' "Also Sprach
Zaranthustra" by Police bassist Andy
Summers that plays like a lame retread
of the Deodato sensation of some twelve
years ago. The piece appears nowhere
in the movie of the same name, but of
course that didn't keep the people in
Promotions from packaging it as a tie
in. B.L.B.
John Williams-The River/Original
Soundtrack (MCA)
I admit to liking John Williams ad-
venture film scores, which, even if they
all sound alike, are guilty fun in their
splashy, pseudo-operatic vulgarity. But
this homely, folkish score, oozing with
contrived sappiness, is as enjoyable as
someone pouring maple syrup into your
ear. B.L.B.


new. and
Aural Sculpture
The Stranglers
Diamond Life
Lloyd Cole and the Commotions
By Dennis Harvey
I T'S GOTTEN TO the odd point where-
about half the decent or at
least noticed new bands are British
and half are Americans. The
Americans get relieved applause for
simply being American, with
obligatory snide remarks about how the
dreadful synth-ridden Brit pop scene
that makes it so hard for our boys. The
Brits just get the publicity. It's mid-
March and this article was meant to be
about how this slim post-Xmas-glut
season for new releases is yielding a
few worthy, less hype-ridden LPs that
might have gotten lost during the
holiday bin races of two months ago.
Instead, it's worked out somehow that
the incidental thesis is, again, Britan-
nia as pop ruler. Fortunately, the
groups discussed below have so little, in
general, to do with the overly crabbed-
about Brit synth and fashion scenes
that the subject might as well be drop-
ped right now. With one possible excep-
tion, the following three LPs deserve to
be spoken of on their own terms,
without the need for explanation of p.r.
strategies, the mysterious commercial
magic of the English association, et al.
heck out the innersleeve, and
you're stuck with the most preten-
tious re-entry statement by a band sin-
ce King Crimson's around the time of
their 1981 Discipline:

When those of us who are commit-
ted to the creation of Aural Sculp-
ture can no longer sit and tolerate
the prostitution of sound that is
,proliferating among us, it is time to
speak out. The musicians of our
times are harlots and charlatans,
who use science without being scien-
tists, and abuse art without being ar-
tists.. We are witnessing the demise
of music. So be it. The world must
prepare itself to herald the advent of
Aural Sculpture, whose presence
can now be shared with the for-
tunate few who have the ears to
hear, the vision to see, and the in-
telligence to comprehend... How
could you have survived until this
historic moment? How could the
world have continued to mark time
writing in ignorance as to the future
of the aging creature known as
music? Behold. The Stranglers bring
you Aural Sculpture.
What purple prose! What magenta
ego! What astonishing pretension!
What gloriously subtile satire (I hope)!
This statement is dutifully printed in
six lingos, for the benefit of everyone
from Topeka to Tokyo, and one can only
hope the joke is on us. The Stranglers
were always a band almost as notable
for their seemingly complete lack of
humor-grinless, black-clad, camera-
grabbing hypnotists on stage, construc-
tors of art-punk-oppressive cathedrals
on record-and were certainly the least
likely candidates for reunion at this
point in time. One would think they'd
have considered their track record as
punk predecessors and enduring cult
favorites enough condescension to an
idiot world, and would have been con-
tent to snarl on current pop trends from
various isolated farms in the Cotswold.
Aural Sculpture is a shock not only in
the simple fact of its appearance but in
its musical perversity-what's
ultimately so painfully funny about the
dead-serious sleeve statement is that,
back again to allegedly 'save' us from
all this murderous pop trivialism, the
Stranglers have come up with an LP of
incandescent pop appeal. There are
elements here of the alternately
gorgeous and disturbing qualities of
such classic '70's Stranglers LPs as The
Raven, but they're incidental-the
primary quality is production polish
and pop-construction delight. The
Stranglers always owed more to early -

Madam X - We Reserve The Right
(Jet Records)
Madam X is one of the few metal
bands to have female members. For-
med by the Petrucci sisters back in
Detroit, they later moved to L.A. to
play and get better exposure.
We Reserve The Right, produced by
rocker note Rick Derringer, gives
Heavy Metal a bad name with its
childish and simple style. The music
is strictly orientated to the commercial
sound, with its basic beats and rhyth-
ms. Shooting for mass appeal, the
album has no appeal. Lyrics such as,
"Let it go, Start screamin' nice and
loud, Until your understood" doesn't
make it any better. Either there is no
writing talent there or they figure the
audience doesn't care, which is too bad,
because metallions do. The singing was
another sore spot,,sounding more like
whining instead. The recommendation
here is to go out and by a real Heavy
Metal album instead. R.L.
This week's Releases were com-
piled by Byron L. Bull, Dennis Har-
vey, Rob LaDuke, and John Logie.

Sade: charming but flat
70's Brit fart-rock experimen-
tation-the moody, layered keyboardy
noodlings of Yes, Emerson, Lake, and
Palmer, Alan Parsons, etc.-than
anyone liked to admit, but here they go
even further back in time to the catchy-
tune-ridden qualities and cheerful mid-
dleweight psychedelia of late-60's Brit
invasion and early-70's glitterrock.
This is really (once you get past the
daunting introductory statement and
the daunting idea of a Stranglers
reunion) a remarkably dare-I-say
charmingalbum, the kind that actually
makes you happy to listen to. The
record is playful enough to make it
seem like months rather than years
have lapsed since their last refo recor-
ding effort; without any of overt con-
ceptualism, there's a sort of cyclical
balance -to the album as a whole.
There are beautiful songs all over the
place, like the ravishingly expansive,
emotionally resigned "Skin Deep," the
snakily R & B-flavored anthem "Let Me
Down Easy," and the glee-inducing
guitar roundelay of "No Mercy." And
that's just side one. Side two im-

mediately jur
recording sc
town," says
"Punch and
fades out on
by the marir
sanity of "1M
almost fright
complete wit
There are a
cape of "No
there are ver
dscape is'a th
sounds neit
calculated f
Stranglers m
to be taken
they're reviv
they've done
quite cc

neoteric music for the discriminating ear

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