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February 20, 1989 - Image 22

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-02-20

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Life And Art MARCH 1989


What's your favorite color?
Living Colour's debut album Vivid introduces an irresistable metal-funk
hybrid, the product of an accomplished guitarist (Vernon Reid) wedded to a
hook-savvy, incredibly tight band. "What's Your Favorite Color?" and the
Mick Jagger-produced "Glamour Boys" show off the band's ability to funk it
up with the best. But it is on truly driving tracks like "Middle Man" and the
electrically bombastic "Cult of Personality" that Living Colour vividly dis-
plays what metal bands always purport to be but seldom are.
Reid is hands down the guitarist of the year. Add Corey Glover's passionate
lyrics and you have an explosive one-two punch.
U Rob Nelson and Pat FitzMaurice, The Badger Herald, U. of Wisconsin, Madison

Fishbone lead singer and saxophonist Angelo
Moore during one of the band's manic live
concerts on the Truth and Soul tour.
Funky Fishbone
mixes soul with
potent politics
By Andrew Lee
The Tulane Hullaballoo
Tulane U., LA
Powered with the poetics of urban
frustration and hard grooves, Fishbone
has defied the obscurity into which most
bands going against the trend fall. This
funky sextet is different, not because
they wear makeup or use fancy effects,
but because they actually sound diffe-
rent. And their latest effort, Truth and
Soul, keeps that spirit alive.
The Fishbone sound does not rest
squarely on its well-crafted, bouncy pop
melodies, but willingly strays into fits of
speed, heavily distorted guitar hooks
and cries of anger. There is subtlety, but
mostly there is a steady groove.
Like their predecessors Curtis
Mayfield and high lords of funk Sly and
the Family Stone, Fishbone imposes a
message on top of their tight, highly
listenable music. The theme of the low
value that had been put on the life of the
black male echoes in "Ghetto Sound-
wave" (were they sure they got the right
one/did they know he was the only son?),
the hard fast version of "Freddie's
Dead," "Slow Bus Movin'" (subtitled
"Howard Beach Party") and "Question
of Life." The message gives the music
strength by avoiding the sort of forgett-
able sloganeering that has soiled the
reputation of "message music." (Stevie
Wonder's "Don't Drive Drunk" comes to
Truth and Soul has nearly captured
the raunch and energy that make Fish-
bone, dubbed "the houseband from
hell," one of the liveliest, most able live
acts imaginable. By venturing past the
stigma of a party band that could so
easily fall into their lap, Fishbone
smacks of genius with a style all its own.
Truth and Soul, the latest release
from the amazing amphibians, Fish-
bone, is a rock/ska/funk album with jaz-
zy overtones. Only a talent-packed band
could manage to merge these musical
style& into some sort of solid sound.
Sheila Gallagher, The Review, U. of Dela-

Waterboys wax
traditional, rarely
falter on new LP
By Steve Crawford
The Daily Texan
U. of Texas, Austin 0
On their new album, Fisherman's
Blues, the Waterboys not only examine
their musical heritage, but revel in it.
With the help of the folk group De
Danann, they take everything Irish -
from traditional reels to ballads to poet-
ry to Van Morrison - and appropriate it
into their own unique style.
After a fairly rousing start with title
song, the album really takes off wiO
"We Will not be Lovers," a swirling,
powerful statement of unrequited love.
Mike Scott's pleading vocals and Steve
Wickersham's angry fiddle create a
beautiful and moving call-and-response
wail over the backing rhythm.
A pretty ballad, "Strange Boat," and
an excellent cover of former Waterboy
Kurt Wallinger's "World Party" precede
the album's most affecting song, ani&
aginative and spirited cover ofVan Mor-
rison's "Sweet Thing." Morrison's subtle
tune becomes a thunderous celebration
of love in Scott's hands.
The second side contains more hom-
ages to the Waterboy's musical influ-
ences. The best of the songs on side two
has to be "When Ye Go Away." The
solemn melody of the tune proves that
Scott and The Waterboys are as musi-
cally capable in quiet moments as thg
are in frenzied ones.
The only weak moment on Fisher-
man's Blues is "The Stolen Child," a
musical piece of W.B. Yeats' poetry. And
at least it's the result of a failed experi-
ment rather than some coldly calcu-
lated attempt at touching the heart and
purse strings of a gullible public.
o Disney tunes .
tians' "Cruella DeVille" with vicious
slander, not unlike that on The Replace-
ments' own "Waitress in the Sky."
Stay Awake's smorgasbord musical
style is not for those with narrow tastes.
How many people can groove to Buster
Poindexter and then segue into Yma
Sumac's gurgly operatic reading of "I
Wonder" from Sleeping Beauty?
For the most part, though, the trans'-
tions between songs are graceful and
seamless, and the sum of this album's
varied narts is surnrisin-ol oven

Living Colour: Muzz Skillings, Corey Glover, Vernon Reid and William Calhoun.
Don't sleep through all-star tribute 1

By Dan Bernard
The Daily Illini
U. of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
Stay Awake is not your typical star-
studded schmaltzfest of a tribute
album, but rather a gold mine of nostal-
gia and revelation.
Some genius named Hal Willner
gathered together a more-than-eclectic
troupe of artists to toast Walt Disney's
musical themes. There are cutting-edge
rockers like Tom Waits, Sinead O'Con-
nor and Suzanne Vega; soulful singer-

songwriters long missing, like James
Taylor, Bonnie Raitt and Harry Nilsson
and cool jazz artists like Betty Carter
and Sun Ra. Lush orchestral arrange-
ments fill the gaps to give the album a
strong composite feel.
And most of the pairings are success-
ful. Los Lobos really shine as they
charge through a rollicking, zydeco-
inflected rave up of "I Wanna Be Just
Like You" from The Jungle Book. The
Replacements bash through a campy,
lan-hann rendition of 1.001 Dalma.

John Linnell of the zany They Might Be
Giants at a New York show in support of
the two-man band's new album, Lincoln.

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