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September 07, 1990 - Image 19

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The Michigan Daily, 1990-09-07

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 7, 1990 - Page 19

continued from page 18
dirges with samples from old horror
movies; not exactly music for the
Lyrics of fire, blood, death,
ucay, pestilence and other cheery
bjects punctuate the work of
Controlled Bleeding. Hailing from
Long Island, these three guys are
probably the most pessimistic group
I have heard on vinyl. Check out
these lyrics: "Fire breeds hate, crime,
swollen fates/bodies grind away,
rptten lives decay/ your torture time
awaits/your cries are a waste." The
music is puzzling; happy major key
*nelodies give way abruptly to punk
thrashing and then come back again.
The song structures follow none of
the traditional rules of rock
songwriting; while this is
refreshing, it is also quite annoying
Ond too unpredictable at times.
The 12-inch single "One World"
by Ajax is basically a waste of time.
However, if you have a pitch
adjuster on your turntable, turn it up
0o45 rpm and then turn the pitch
down a bit. It's infinitely more
interesting than it is at 33 rpm.
While Wax Trax may have struck
out with this batch of records, check
out some of its other artists such as
the Revolting Cocks, Meat Beat
Manifesto or Front Line Assembly.
It's some of the most innovative
$tuff in music lately-
-Mike Molitor
Lonesome Romeos
Ionesome Romeos
Curb Records
With a focus on restless lyrics
and a folky/country-tinged sound
(like Bruce Springsteen or John
Cougar Mellencamp), this god-awful
album and band make a wretched
{attempt to be a reflective, working-
lass, West-coast answer to the
artists previously mentioned.
They are primed for AOR radio
success because they sound like
IN 9lj t Wtgau ita ...
X ads Cost $2.10/line for the first
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X ads must be placed by 11:00 a.m.
the morning before publication
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in town check, or a money order
X ads may be removed from
publication, but there will be no

Bruce on one song, then Bryan
Adams on another (read: "variety")
but that difference is only enough to
make them seem somewhat original.
Songs like "Eden Way" are packaged
gritty desperation with highlighted
har-monica (ooh!) and a guitar solo
too obviously based on the hook
(how very inventive!). "Queen An-
nie," a ballad, even features strings
and is reminiscent of U2 in their ul-
tra-American phase.
The record also has the ultimate
in stupid lines: "Temptation is the
salvation of the young." For more
witty social commentary, check out
"Salvation Street," also known as
the adjective song for the number of
banal one adjective-noun com-
binations. "The vision of the '60s
now leans on a blind man's cane.,
How very poignant!"Sweet Janine"
is a lousy rehash of Bryan Adams'
"Cuts like a Knife," hooks and all,
while "Green Green Fields" does the
same to Don Henley's "All She
Wants to do is Dance."
The last song sums it all up.
"Lost..." is a bad take on the slower
sexy stuff of the Rolling Stones/Rod
Stewart and ends with the very
appropriate lines "I must be lost, I
must be lost/ (And it's a long way
back home)." They are lost in
musical hell and if they went home,
they might find something better to
-Annette Petrusso
Soul II Soul
1990 - A New Decade
Soul music moves-fast- when
Jazzie B says go. His first release,
Keep on Movin', was revolutionary
in more ways than RPM. Breaking
the ground for innovative, new mu-
sical styles and thematic concepts
was the secondary motive for his act.
The first, most important goal was
proselytizing the club-hoppers to the
beat of Jazzie B. and producer Nellee
Hooper. The man's pervasiveness is
as clear as one's digital radio display:
a sample from his essentially popu-
lar "Back to Life" has utterly revital-
ized the plummeting career of girls'
group Klymaxx. R & B parasite Sy-
bil also hyped up a career by biting
him. The style, an exquisite blend of
late '60s strings, minimalist grooves
and ingenious rhythms- is vulnera-
ble only in that his imitators fre-
quently threaten to undercut him.
But still, on the chorus of "Love
Come Through," guest vocalist
Lamya (almost Caron Wheeler) cre-
ates such a powerful light that one
must wonder what Soul II Soul has
that most of black radio does not.
The smart, subversive "Courtney
Blows" is space for saxophonist

Courtney Pine to show off his quick
albeit limited phrasing over a trade-
mark Jazzie beat. It could be acid
jazz or the next step for rhythm and
blues instrumentals - a fully com-
prehensive assimilation of rap into
said genre.
The center of 1990 is "A Dream's
a Dream," featuring vocalist Victoria
Wilson-James over an urgently
funky groove. The bassline is a
swaggering thing even as it fits into
the codified mix of the album's
sound. The line, "I can see/I can
see/I can see right through you," op-
eratic in its insistence, is enigmatic
at best. Jazzie's mentioning of "a
new race" on "Get a Life" is of a
multicolored, multi-affiliated one,
following something like the
Rhythm Nation philosophy as its
credo. By not denoting any particular
enemy, Jazzie and James create an
ultimate dance weapon, one that
knows few barriers.
The final track, "Our Time Has
Now Come," is most memorable for
the line, "our motto still is-and
always will be-a happy face, a
thumping bass, for a loving race."
This is a good example of why Soul
II Soul's sublime tactics are so
much more effective than those of
fellow leaders Public Enemy. The
Funki Dreds beat is designed to
match you, heartbeat for heartbeat,
rather than kick your face in. While
Chuck D. is struggling not to cross
himself verbally, Jazzie B. utilizes a
largely wordless message that
reaches the listeners - and possibly
creates change - from within. As
the '60s proved, music has very lit-
tle power to change the world. It is
Jazzie's understanding of this that

Bob Mould shows off his pensive, penetrating stare.

Jon Bon Jovi
Blaze of Glory
Jon does a concept album!
"Inspired by the film Young Guns
II," Jon got together an all-star effort
to perform more western inspired
songs and have a good excuse. Sorry
Jon, while "Wanted: Dead or Alive"
was by far your magnum opus, this
whole album filled with songs that
can't be that inspired by the film,
just isn't very good or relevant. The
best parts are the three pieces of dia-
logue taken from the film itself:
Emilio Estevez as Billy the Kid say-
ing "I'll make ya famous"; Kiefer
Sutherland as Doc Scurlock pointing

out to the Kid's face "William H.
Bonney, you are not a god" and Kid
challenging "Why don't you pull
that trigger and find out"; and Doc
berating Kid with "Your rode a 15
year old boy straight to his grave,
and the rest of us straight to hell."
The problems with the rest, i.e.
the songs, are numerous. First, they
are all in first person. Artistic li-
cense aside, a vast majority of these
songs are certainly not the first per-
son of anyone in this movie. If Billy
could write songs, maybe "Blaze of

Glory" would somewhat accurate.
Pretty much the same goes for
"Blood Money," a song "by" Billy
for Pat Garret, except that the
thoughts Jon gives him are even less
plausible. The rest of the album after
these two songs seem to be interpre-
tations of Billy's voice but wrong.
They are replete with Christian reli-
gious imagery and calls for salvation
from this life. In the movie which
inspired the songs, the only reli-
gious person was Lou Diamond




Ann Arbor
1'iir tr~ainc
A Thrilling 3Iasterpiece by Agatha Christie
Directed by K L Grismer
Lydia Mendelssobn Theatre
September 12-1519.90 at 8pm
Saturday Matinee at 2pm
P WO te SuD',or1 the 1A MChan CounCif for the Arts




/ 1000's of

1oT ____


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