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April 11, 1988 - Image 30

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-04-11

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Life And Art APRIL 1988


D'Arby's debut LP backs up the hype

Nature inspires
Winston's lyrical
piano melodies
By Erik J. Newton
Daily Bruin
U. of California, Los Angeles
One of the leaders of the New Age
movement, 38-year-old George
Winston started playing the elec-
tric piano in 1967. This balladeer's
musical repertoire is as diverse as
his following: a varying mixture of
rock, rhythm and blues, swing and
In a recent concert, Winston dis-
played his innovative ability by
reaching inside the piano to pluck
and strum the chords themselves,
while he continued playing. The
sound produced hinted at the
music's origin and creator, a harp-
sichordist named Bolinvider; Win-
ston at once hearkened back to the
music's roots, while evolving it into
the future.
Winston uses no score, just a
sheet of titles and reminders. Using
mid-range notes without a resonat-
ing bass line, the melody remains
clear and distinct. His song Colors
sounds like nature translated into
piano music. He painted a picture
of leaves turning, falling and blow-
ing in the wind. With his left hand,
he maintained a melody which con-
jured up images of a creek flowing
in the woods. Before he began the
piece, he described the ending sec-
tion of Colors as taking place in an
enchanted forest, where the trees
dance together and then run away.
After intermission, he displayed
his more classical interests with
variations on Pachelbel's Canon
and Canon of the Bells. He even did
a virtuoso Yiddish blues number
involving five harmonicas set in
different notes and half notes.
In all, he played eleven pieces for
a total of two-and-a-half hours, in-
cluding an encore after a standing
ovation. Afterwards, Winston also
invited everyone to join him for a
jam session at a nearby club. Win-
ston played all jazz and swing
variations. "I like to play (modern)
music how the late James Booker
would have played it," he explained
to the crowd. Winston intends to
have jam sessions twice a year
whenever he performs in L.A. But
don't expect "that Autumn stuff' he
said, "because it would sound like
elevator music in a place like this."

By Chip Bales
The Chronicle
Duke U., NC
I think I've finally figured out what
Terrence Trent D'Arby sounds like: an
angry gospel singer, crossed with a soul-
ful Motown singer, with the excitement
of Prince and the conviction of Bob Mar-
ley. Anyway, he sounds good. Real good.
Introducing the Hardline According to
Terrence Trent D'Arby has taken the
British Isles by storm, flying up to the
#1 position on their charts and going
multi-platinum in a few short weeks.
New Replacements LP
shows balance, energy
By Tom Vanderbilt
The Cardinal
U. of Wisconsin, Madison
It's hard to believe The Replace-
ments, the band that recorded "Gary's
Got a Boner" and sloshed its way
through hundreds of sweaty, intoxi-
cated live shows, could somehow find
the sobriety and vision to put out such a
magnificent album as Pleased To Meet
Me. From the irreverent Big Star tri-
bute to the most chilling, unglamorous
song ever about teenage suicide to the
irresistible pop strains of "Can't Hardly
Wait," the Minneapolis bunch show
they don't have to be playinglight-speed
to show any energy and emotion-they
do just fine with a little hard-edged rock
and roll.

And D'Arby is finally getting some
attention here in the States.
This debut album is a stunning set of
provocative and diversified English pop
at its best. Sure, there's a lot of hype
about D'Arby. He looks like Michael
Jackson in a reggae phase; but Intro-
ducing the Hardline proves there is sub-
stance to back the hype. The Hardline
consists of 11 tight pop songs that range
from pure pop to African spiritual, from
gospel to ballads, all combined with
dashes of soul, reggae, and jazz ulti-
mately resulting in a most convincing,
promising and energetic debut.

"If You All Get to Heaven" opens tf
album up with a haunting chant, set-l
ting the mood for a pretty somber mes-
sage about redemption: "If you all get to
heaven/Say a prayer for the people/Who
kill for cross and steeple/Say a prayer
for righteous bullets/But most of all
please say a prayer for me." "Wishing
Well" is a pure gem, with D'Arby's
snarling, nasty vocals and truly catchy
Terrence Trent D'Arby may be a b
sensational, but he knows his trade.
This album has introduced the world to
a new star.

Zany British pop musician leaps
out of obscurity with 'Frogs'

By Tom Meares
The Tiger
Clemson U., GA
Combine pulsating bass lines and
addicting melodies with wacky lyrics
like 'Your mother is a journalist, your
father is a creep/They make it in your
bedroom when they think your fast
asleep," and you have Robyn Hitchcock,
one of today's most intriguing artists.
Robyn Hitchcock lives in a different
world than most of us. His is a subcon-
scious world inhabited by playful
crustaceans, personified fish and men
with lightbulb heads. The impetus of his
songwriting is the organic rather than
the political.
"To go into 'issues' at the length they
merit requires the depth-and double-
talk-of a politician," he declares in his
Manifesto liner notes. Hitchcock has de-
scribed his writing method as "dream-
ing in public."
Through the course of his seven solo
albums, however, he has existed in rela-
tive obscurity, despite critical raves

that have deified him to ridiculous prop-
The Englishman's major label debut,
Globe of Frogs, is unlikely to change
much of that, but it just might. This is
his most accomplished work to date.
Globe of Frogs begins with the steady
"Tropical Flesh Mandala," a hodge-
podge of unlikely riffs that somehow
emerges as a danceable number. Hitch-
cock's endearingly eccentric nature re-
mains intact throughout the album.
Each song is a separate landscape of
Hitchcock's organic world. "Balloon
Man," the first single, is his most overtly
pop composition since "Heaven," sport-
ing a bouncy bass and jingle-jangle
All 10 tracks on Globe of Frogs are
remarkable in their own way. One prob-
lem with listening to Hitchcock and the
Egyptians is deciding what to listen to;
the lyrics are so enthralling that they
often distract one's attention from the
music. Give Globe of Frogs a good listen.
You just might become a devoted fan.

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